The uncertainty over Pakistan’s participation in the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 finally came to an end after visas were issued to the Green Brigade late on Monday, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said.
The global body’s confirmation came after the complaints of a delay in the process of visa issuance to the Pakistan cricket team.
Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wrote to the ICC about the visa delay which, it said, had disrupted the team’s preparation for the showpiece event, set to begin on October 5.
“Visas have been issued to the Pakistan team,” an ICC spokesperson told Reuters without elaborating anything further on the matter.
Meanwhile, PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq also confirmed to Reuters that they have been asked to collect their passports from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
Notably, India and Pakistan face each other only in ICC or ACC events like the World Cup and Asia Cup as there has been suspension of bilateral cricket from a long time.
Earlier, Farooq had reacted strongly over the visa delay and had decried the “inequitable treatment” metered out to the Pakistan team, who are scheduled to arrive in India on Wednesday.
“There has been an extraordinary delay in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup,” Farooq said in the statement.
“We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup. It’s a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through the uncertainty ahead of the major tournament,” he had added.
Notably, the Green Brigade will play two warm-up games before beginning their 2023 World Cup campaign. Both the matches will be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
Pakistan will take on New Zealand in their first warm-up match in Hyderabad on September 29 before facing Australia on October 3 at the same venue.
Later, the highly-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan will be played on October 14 at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad.