Babar Azam-led Pakistan will be travelling to India for the ICC World T20 in October as the government has agreed to grant visas to the players from the neighbouring nation.
According to the latest media reports, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Jay Shah informed the Apex Council about the government’s decision.
The development comes after Pakistan had defeated South Africa 3-1 in the T20I series.
“The visa issue of Pakistan cricket team has been sorted. However, whether the fans can travel across the border to watch matches is still not clear. It will be decided in due course of time. However, we had promised ICC that it will be sorted. The secretary announced during the meeting,” a member of the Apex Council was quoted as saying in India Today.
Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Ehsan Mani, had asked for a written assurance from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that India will grant their players visas for the upcoming showpiece event.
“I have informed the board that the BCCI was supposed to give us visa assurances by December 31 but that didn’t happen because their president, Sourav Ganguly was twice hospitalized. I have taken up this matter with the ICC and am in touch with them,” Mani said in a press conference in February.
“The ICC has told us that we will get our written confirmation by the end of March,” the PCB chief added.
In another development, it has also been learned that the BCCI has decided on nine venues and will see the entry of new venues in Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Chennai and Hyderabad. The four venues had not hosted the matches in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup held in India.
The venues are – Dharamsala, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Hyderabad- for the T20 World Cup. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is likely to host the final.
“The nine venues have been informed and it was again discussed that preparations should continue for the showpiece event with an eye on the COVID-19 situation and a call will only be taken closer to the event. It is too early to imagine what can or will happen in October-November with regards to the coronavirus situation. But preparations shall be on,” a BCCI source told ANI.