PCB makes formal complaint to ICC over unfair treatment

PCB makes formal complaint to ICC over unfair treatment

With the ICC World Cup just around the corner, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed its concerns to the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding what it perceives as "significant delays" in the issuance of Indian visas for the national cricket team.

Umar Farooq, the spokesperson for PCB, informed Dawn.com that they have formally communicated their apprehensions to the ICC, emphasizing that they believe Pakistan is being treated unfairly in this regard and reminding the ICC of its obligations concerning the World Cup.

The PCB spokesperson expressed disappointment at the uncertainty faced by the Pakistan team so close to such a major tournament. He revealed that the board had been reminding the ICC about these visa-related obligations for the past three years, but the issue has only escalated in the final days leading up to the tournament.

Due to these delays, the original plan to conduct team-building exercises in Dubai before heading to India had to be abandoned. The PCB had to quickly revise its plans, reschedule flights, and make new arrangements, all contingent upon the issuance of visas.

ESPNcricinfo reported that visa applications were submitted more than a week ago, but as of less than 48 hours before the team's scheduled departure to India, visas had not yet been granted. This has already led to the cancellation of the pre-World Cup team bonding event in Dubai. Remarkably, Pakistan is the sole participating team among the nine traveling to India for the event that has not received its visas.

The team is scheduled to depart from Lahore to Dubai on September 27, with warm-up matches against New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3 in Hyderabad, India, before their first official match against the Netherlands on October 6.

Visa applicants, including fans and journalists planning to attend the tournament, faced difficulties accessing the Indian High Commission's website, which was reportedly inaccessible. Consequently, many applicants had to resort to using agents to complete online forms, adding an unnecessary layer of complexity to the process.

In response to these visa accessibility issues, there were calls for the Indian High Commission to consider accepting hand-filled visa applications, especially for media personnel accredited with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the ICC. With the clock ticking down to the start of the mega event, there is a pressing need to facilitate visa processing for all involved parties.