Pakistan Cricket Team Faces Visa Delays Ahead of World Cup in India
Islamabad: The Pakistani cricket team is currently grappling with visa delays as they prepare for the upcoming ODI Cricket World Cup in India. These delays have compelled the Pakistan Cricket Board to cancel their pre-tournament team-bonding trip to Dubai.
Originally, “Team Pakistan” had plans to depart for the UAE in the following week for a brief stay, intending to proceed to Hyderabad for their first warm-up match against New Zealand on September 29. However, the lack of assurance regarding adequate security measures, especially with two major religious festivals scheduled in the city on the same date, has led to the decision to conduct Pakistan’s inaugural warm-up match against New Zealand behind closed doors in Hyderabad.
Despite this concerning situation, there remains a widespread belief that the necessary visas will be granted in due time. Curiously, among the nine teams set to travel to India for the World Cup, Pakistan is the only squad still awaiting visa clearance, despite having submitted their visa applications over a week ago.
While some have expressed concern over the delay and questioned the motives behind it, the Pakistan Cricket Board had previously proposed the idea of relocating Pakistan’s World Cup matches to a venue outside of India, with Bangladesh being considered as a potential alternative. However, this proposal was ultimately dismissed in August 2023 when the Pakistani government approved the team’s travel to India, despite the initial delays and uncertainties.