PCB to drive for T20 World Cup to be shifted out of India in lack of visa guarantee

PCB to drive for T20 World Cup to be shifted out of India in lack of visa guarantee
Photo: Dawn News

Pakistan will drive for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be moved to the United Arab Emirates if India doesn’t offer a written guarantee that the national cricket team, its fans and journalists will be arranged visas for the event, said Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani on Friday in a press conference.

The PCB chairman was talking to reporters at the PCB’s H.Q. in Lahore when he said the board had talked these intents to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“There is a need to change the ‘Big Three’ mindset,” Mani said. “We are not seeking written assurance for the visas of the national team only, but for the fans, officials and journalists as well.”

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lures the other cricket boards through money,” alleged Mani, adding that the PCB had made its intentions clear to stakeholders — within and outside the country — that “we plan to run our cricket without India.”

The PCB chairman believed the board was confident that all of its cricketers would get immunized by the month of March and publicized that the upper management was in contact with the National Command Operation Centre (NCPC), which is coordinating Pakistan’s Covid-19 response.

He emphasized the board’s hard work of hosting international cricket, which saw tours from Zimbabwe for three ODIs and as many T20Is and South Africa for two Tests and three T20Is and an intact domestic spell despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mani revealed that the PCB did not pursue the ICC’s support in the continuation of cricket events and played a vital role in the reopening of the game in the post-Covid-19 world.

He mourned Cricket Australia’s verdict to not refer its men’s team to South Africa and said, “At the peak of the virus in England in the summer of 2020, the Pakistan men’s team toured England.”

Had they and the West Indies not done so, it would have cost, according to him, “[the] England and Wales Cricket Board around 3.5 million pounds”. “Similarly, had India not travelled to Australia it would have made Cricket Australia face heavy losses.”

Replying to a question about the Asia Cup, the PCB chairman said that Sri Lanka Cricket had formed a space for the event, which would be held in the T20I layout because of the T20 World Cup this year, in June, but it might get more deferred if India succeeds for the World Test Championship final in the same month in London.

Reproducing on the restoration of the domestic cricket structure that took place in August 2019 and has seen two seasons being played under it, Mani said it was significant that this arrangement is given three to five years to curl. He revealed that the acting committee at the Cricket Association level will be mounted by next month.

He also uttered his wish that Wasim Khan, the chief executive of the PCB who is now in the last year of his occupancy, will spend three more years on the job. “Wasim has played a crucial role in the complete resumption of international cricket in the country and I hope he will continue to serve Pakistan cricket for three more years,” said Mani.