PCB seeks Pak govt approval to travel India for 2023 ODI WC

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has written to their Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the interior and the foreign ministry, seeking an official clearance to travel to India for the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup, set to be held later this year.

According to an ESPNcricinfo report, the letter seeks advice on whether the Pakistan team is allowed to travel to India and if permitted, then is there are any reservations about any of the five venues for the Pakistan games and if the government wants to send a security delegation for inspection.

The PCB reportedly requires their government’s approval to tour India unlike visiting any other country due to tensed political relations between the two countries.

The PCB in its letter, written on June 26, has reportedly shared Pakistan’s World Cup schedule with the government. The report said that there is no deadline for the government to respond however, the PCB will not travel without an approval from the government.

“Soon after the World Cup schedule was announced last Tuesday, we wrote to our Patron, Honourable Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, through the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ministry, copying the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior, requesting clearance to participate in the World Cup,” the PCB said.

“The decision to visit India and approve venues at which we can play our matches is the prerogative of the Government of Pakistan. We have absolute trust in the judgment of our government and will follow whatever is advised. It is entirely up to the Government of Pakistan the process it wants to formulate and follow before advising us on the next steps. If this requires sending an advance team to India to inspect the venues and hold meetings with the event organisers, then it will solely be the government’s decision,” he added.

Both India and Pakistan haven’t played against each other in any bilateral series for more than ten years now and the arch-rivals only face-off at the ICC and ACC events.

Pakistan have not toured India since the 2016 men’s T20 World Cup due to which there are many uncertainties regarding their participation in the upcoming showpiece event, set to be held in October-November.

Even as the fixtures have been officially announced last week by the ICC, the PCB is still reluctant to commit their participation without their government’s clearance.

As per reports, the term of the current ruling government in Pakistan will be ending in August and the call on the Green Brigade’s participation is likely to be deferred until the next government takes charge.

Reports suggest that the current Pakistan government will not make a formal announcement at this stage and the issue could stretch further until closer to the departure date like it was in 2016 when India hosted the T20 World Cup.

News Desk

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