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PCB Seeks Written Assurance From BCCI Regarding Participation In World Cups Held In India

With diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan at an all-time low, the Pakistan Cricket Board asked the ICC to get written assurances from the BCCI that their players would not face any trouble procuring visas for the 2021 T20 World Cup and the 2023 ODI World Cup, to be hosted by India.

Pakistan last played India at the ICC World Cup 2019 in Manchester and last visited India for a bilateral series in 2012-13. (Picture courtesy: Cricket World Cup/Twitter)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to get a written assurance from the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) that the team would face no problems in getting visas to play in the 2021 T20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup that would be hosted by India. 

“We are also looking at the fact that the ICC World Cups are to be hosted in India in 2021 and 2023 and we have already asked the ICC to give us written assurances from BCCI that we will not face any problems getting visas and clearance to play in India,” PCB CEO Wasim Khan said in an interview on the YouTube channel Cricket Baaz.

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The PCB has further asked the ICC to get concrete responses from their government regarding the same, a senior official said. The official also confirmed that the ICC executive board would decide at its next meet whether the next World T20 Cup would be hosted by Australia or India.

Khan also expressed his doubts about the 2020 edition going ahead at all, and expressed confusion over what would happen to the 2021 edition. While this year’s edition was slated to be hosted by Australia, the pandemic poured water over those plans and has forced a rethink about its schedule. On top of that, since India will host the 2021 edition of the tournament, Khan thinks it makes the situation very unclear.

“The big question now is when the World T20 is held in 2021 will it be hosted by Australia or India as India has the hosting rights for the already scheduled World T20 Cup in 2021,” he said.

Khan also added that the ICC members feel the T20 World Cup should be held in the October-November period in 2021 or 2022.

“The way things are, the gap available in 2022 will be used to accommodate the 2020 World T20 if it is not held this year.” 

He said that Pakistan would go to India for the ICC events only after they get complete assurance about the security and safety of the players and officials.

Khan pointed out that of late many Pakistan sports squads were not given clearance by the Indian government to play in India. “That is why we have asked for the advance assurances. But eventually it is an ICC event and it is their responsibility to ensure we as a full member and signatory of the participants agreement go and play in these ICC events,” he said.

The last time the two sides went head to head in India was in 2012-13 in a bilateral T20 and ODI series. Since then, the two countries have only played each other at ICC tournaments -- the last of which was at the 2019 World Cup in Manchester.

Asked what the PCB’s stance would be if BCCI president Sourav Ganguly decided to stand for the post of ICC Chairman when the sitting Chairman Shashank Manohar steps down next month, Khan said so far no candidate including Ganguly or England’s Colin Graves had made their intentions clear.

“We are getting mixed signals and we don’t know if Ganguly will decide to stand for the ICC post,” he said.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani’s name was also thrown into the mix, but Mani recently in a media interaction made it clear that he was committed to Pakistan cricket for next three years.

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