'ICC will get assurance from BCCI over visas for Pak'

ICC will get written assurance from BCCI by March regarding issuance of visas for our players: Mani

ICC. Credit: Reuters Photo

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said the ICC has assured them it will get a written assurance from the BCCI by next month that all its players, officials, fans and journalists will be issued visas for the World T20 Cup to be held in India.

On Sunday, Mani also said that the Asia Cup scheduled to be held in June this year in Sri Lanka will need to be postponed if India qualifies for the World Test Championships final.

"I have informed the board that the BCCI was supposed to give us visa assurances by 31st December but that didn't happen because their President, Saurav Ganguly was twice hospitalised," he said at a media conference here.

"But I have now again taken up this matter with the ICC and am in touch with them. I also have another virtual conference with them tomorrow on this issue. The ICC has told us that we will get our written confirmation by the end of next month."

The PCB chief said it was their right to demand this assurance and no one can keep Pakistan out of the World Cup.

"Either we will be going to the World T20 with full protocols or it will have to be moved elsewhere," he said while insisting that the PCB wanted written assurances that India will issue visas for Pakistan team, fans and journalists.

To a question about whether the World T20 could be shifted to a neutral venue at this late stage, Mani said granting visas for Pakistani nationals was not the only issue confronting the Indian board.

"There is also the problem of tax exemption to the ICC for the event and the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The ICC has already in a contingency planning decided the World T20 can also be moved to UAE if need arose," he said.

Mani also said if India qualifies for the WTC final it would be impossible for the Asia Cup to be held this year as planned due to a clash of dates.

"The way things look most probably the Asia Cup will be postponed until 2023," he said.

The World Test Championship final is slated at Lord's from June 18-22.

India needs at least a draw in the fourth and final Test against England in the ongoing four-Test series to set up a clash with New Zealand in the World Test Championship final.

Pakistan was to initially host the Asia Cup but surrendered it to Sri Lanka after problems over India not being able to tour Pakistan for the tournament.

Mani also made it clear that Pakistan had no problems with the World T20 being held in India but just wanted to be absolutely sure that there are no problems with issuance of visas for its team, officials, fans and journalists closer to the tournament. 

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