NEW DELHI Reuters: Following concerns of a delay in the process, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday that visas had been approved for the Pakistan squad to compete in the 50-overs World Cup in India.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) complained in writing to the governing body that the team’s preparation for the marquee tournament across the border had been hampered by a visa delay.
An ICC official informed Reuters that “Visas have been issued to the Pakistan team,” but did not provide any other information.
They have been instructed to pick up their passports from the Indian high commission in Islamabad, PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq told Reuters.
Due to deteriorating political ties between the neighbors, India and Pakistan have discontinued their bilateral cricket matches and now only face off in multi-team competitions like the World Cup and Asia Cup.
Farooq previously criticized the “inequitable treatment” meted out to a Pakistani delegation, who are expected to arrive in India on Wednesday, in a sharply worded statement.
“There has been an extraordinary delay in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup,” Farooq stated in the statement.
“We have written to the ICC to express our concerns over Pakistan’s unfair treatment and to remind them of their responsibilities in relation to the World Cup.
“It’s disappointing that the Pakistani team has to deal with uncertainty before the important tournament.”
Before starting their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on Oct. 6, Pakistan will play two exhibition games.
India and Pakistan are scheduled to face off in a tantalizing match on October 14 in Ahmedabad.
India chose to play their matches in Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup, which took place between August 30 and September 17, rather than touring Pakistan.