After multiple rounds of deliberations, BCCI secretary Jay Shah has confirmed that the Government of India has decided to grant Pakistan cricketers visas to travel to India. The T20I World Cup is scheduled to be held later this year in India.
With the two neighboring countries involved in a political feud, there has been imminent tension building around the possibility of a visit for Pakistan's cricket team.
This development means that the Pakistan squad will have all clearances to travel and play in the T20 World Cup in India. However, whether or not fans will be permitted to cross the border to witness matches remains unclear.
"The visa issue of Pakistan cricket team has been sorted. However, whether the fans can travel to watch matches is still not clear. However, we had promised ICC that it will be sorted," a member of the Apex council was reported as saying by India Today.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman had earlier demanded a written assurance from ICC on the matter
Towards the end of 2020, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani had demanded a written assurance from the International Cricket Council that the Pakistan players would be granted visas to travel to India for the T20 World Cup.
Ehsan Mani had also asked for the tournament to be shifted to a different venue if assurances could not be granted to the PCB before December 31, 2020.
Speaking to the media recently, PCB Chairman Mani said,
"I've informed the board that BCCI was supposed to give us visa assurances by December 31 but that didn’t happen because their President, Sourav Ganguly was hospitalised twice"
He added that the PCB has raised their concerns to the ICC once again. Speaking in this regard, Mani said,
"I have taken up this matter with the ICC again and I'm in touch with them. The ICC has told us that we'll get our written confirmation by the end of next month"
The T20 World Cup 2021 will be the 7th edition of the tournament. India have never lost a World Cup match against Pakistan but the two sides do put together an entertaining show every time they are pitted against one another.
Fans will be hoping the two teams face each other again later this year.