MHA clears issuance of visas for players and officials of Pakistan blind cricket team

Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) said India had denied the team visas for the tournament which is taking place in the neighbouring country from Dec 5 to 17

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, December 06, 2022, 10:42 PM IST
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Hours after the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) had issued a statement that the team was denied visa for the T20 World Cup in India, the Union home ministry has now cleared the issuance of visa to 34 players and officials of the Pakistan blind cricket team for the World Cup in India, officials said.

After its nod, the external affairs ministry will issue the visas to the Pakistani players and officials so that they can travel to India for the ongoing tournament.

The home ministry has given clearance for issuance of visa to 34 Pakistani players and officials to take part in the Blind Cricket World Cup, a ministry official said.

In a lengthy statement released that PBCC said, “This unfortunate incident has left the Pakistan blind cricket team in the lurch,”. The council stressed on the fact that the country had been runners-up in 2012 and 2017.

The PBCC highlighted that Pakistan had beaten current T20 world champions India five times consecutively during two tri-nation competitions in 2021 and 2022, winning both the events.

“It was highly likely that Pakistan and India would have locked horns in the final of [the] ongoing World Cup and considering the current form of [the] Green Shirts, Pakistan had high chances to win the World Cup,” the statement said.

The PBCC further went on to say that as per the information available, the Indian MEA had denied the players clearance on “political grounds”.

“The PBCC 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 statement added that the Indian government’s “hatred” of Pakistan had also violated the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“This discriminating act will have serious consequence[s] 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,” the statement said.

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