As enthusiasm for Pakistan-India world cup match grows, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee chairman Zaka Ashraf said on Wednesday he would leave for India on Thursday after getting assurance regarding Pakistani journalists’ visas for the coverage of the event.
“I have delayed my travel to India, and I am travelling tomorrow (Thursday) after receiving confirmation that Pakistan’s journalists have been asked to submit their passports to obtain visas to cover the mega event.
“I am happy that my conversation with the Foreign Office helped in achieving a positive development regarding the visa delay,” Ashraf was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the PCB.
The PCB chief will also watch Pakistan’s match against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. He said he would visit India to motivate the team and he would ask the players to contest with full confidence.
He said he was “extremely pleased” with the team’s performance.
“The PCB management committee and the entire nation stand firmly behind the players for a successful campaign in the ongoing World Cup,” said Ashraf.
Good news for journalists
The Indian embassy initiated a process to issue visas to Pakistani journalists who are willing to travel to India for coverage of the world cup.
Sources said the Indian High Commission had contacted the journalists to submit their passports at the earliest for visa processing.
It is recalled that visas for the Pakistan team were granted barely 48 hours before they left for what is their first tour of India since the T20 World Cup in 2016.
Last week, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement that the visa delay had put the board “under immense pressure”.
“PCB is disappointed to see that Pakistani journalists and fans are facing uncertainty about obtaining an Indian visa to cover Pakistan’s opening game in the ICC World Cup,” it said.
“Their presence not only adds vibrancy to the stadium but also contributes to the global coverage and appreciation of the game.
“We have been reminding ICC about their obligations and members’ agreement on issuing visas for fans and journalists for the last three years and continue to raise concerns with all relevant authorities.”
Pakistan began their campaign on the field with an easy victory over the Netherlands on Friday.