Pakistan blind cricket team denied visa to travel to India for World Cup
India and Pakistan were set to lock horns in the tournament, provided the team's visa was cleared. This seems unlikely now.
The Pakistan blind cricket team has been denied visa to travel to India for the ongoing Blind Cricket World Cup. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) claimed that the team could not get clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs in India.
"This unfortunate incident has left the Pakistan blind cricket team in the lurch," the PBCC said in a statement. "It was highly likely that Pakistan and India would have locked horns in the final of ongoing World Cup and considering the current form of Green Shirts, Pakistan had high chances to win the World Cup," the statement added.
The tournament is scheduled in India from December 5-17. The PBCC said "it strongly condemns this discriminating act of India as sports should be above regional politics". "Our counterpart Blind Cricket Association in India pleaded with their government for Pakistan's clearance but nothing was heard," the PBCC said.
"This discriminating act will have serious consequences on global blind cricket as we at World Blind Cricket will take stern action against them and may not allow India to host future International events." Pakistan finished second in the last T20 World Cup for the Blind.
Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) confirmed the development and said it will release an updated tournament schedule as Pakistan team is not participating. "Pakistan blind cricket team will not be able to participate in the ongoing third T20 World Cup for the Blind being held in India despite CABI taking all the required steps to process their visa application," a statement from CABI said.
India, Bangladesh, Australia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and South Africa are left in the 12-day event. Matches will be played in Faridabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Indore and Bengaluru where the final will be held.