DUBAI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan's effort to provoke controversy by calling for visa assurance from International Cricket Council (ICC) for the 2021 T20 World Cup in India hasn't found many takers.
Dispelling the PCB CEO's unfounded fear - according to media reports - that their players might face visa issues while travelling to India for the 2021 T20 World Cup, the ICC has made it clear that all participating teams will be given visas as per agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Speaking to ANI, an ICC spokesperson said that planning for the tournament was being made keeping in mind that all teams will be provided with visas. "The Host Agreement for all ICC events, including the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021, provides that the host member will ensure visas are provided for all competing teams. The planning for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in India is underway on that basis," the spokesperson said.
A BCCI official said that Khan seems to be ignorant. "I think that statement of the PCB CEO stemmed from ignorance. This issue was laid to rest last year itself when the GOI (Government of India) had written to the Presidents of the IOA and the IOC on the issue. So unless he is privy to some future course of action to be taken by Pakistan that would deteriorate the circumstances drastically, it is a non-issue," the official told ANI.
The above-mentioned letter was issued on June 18, 2019, by then Sports Secretary Radhe Shyam Julaniya after a couple of Pakistan shooters were denied a visa to compete in the ISSF World Shooting championship in the national capital. The visa issue had led to the International Olympic Committee reconsidering the decision to hand India international sports events.
The letter from Julaniya, in possession of ANI, clearly stated that country of origin of athletes wouldn't be a barrier for them to get visas to come and compete in international sporting events in the country.
"It's the policy of the government that India will hold international sporting events and will permit all qualified athletes belonging to any National Olympic Committee (NOC) recognised by IOC or any national federation affiliated to the international federation concerned to participate.
Such participation of athletes shall be without prejudice to our principled positions and policies on other political matters including issues such as international recognition or otherwise of the country of origin of the athletes," Julaniya had written to Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) President Narinder Batra and marked a copy to IOC chief Thomas Bach.