India denies visas to the Pakistan Blind Cricket Team for the ongoing Blind Cricket World Cup allegedly on political grounds, a report emerged on Sunday.
Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement on Tuesday updating regarding the development. The visas of the Pakistan Cricket Team have been denied for the ongoing tournament from Dec 5 to Dec 17th. “This unfortunate incident has left the Pakistan blind cricket team in the lurch,” said PCB. The statement added that the Pakistan Blind Cricket Team was the runners-up in 2012 and 2017.
Earlier, Indian Express had reported that Pakistan Blind Cricket Team would be granted a visa to participate in the tournament. The match between India and Pakistan was scheduled for Wednesday 7th December 2022.
PBCC in its statement added Pakistan had beaten the current T20 world champion India five times consecutively in 2021 and 2022, winning both events.
“It was highly likely that Pakistan and India would have locked horns in the final of [the] ongoing World Cup and considering the current form of [the] Green Shirts, Pakistan had a high chance to win the World Cup,” the statement said.
PBCC claims that the Ministry of External Affairs India has denied the visas on ‘political grounds. “The PBCC strongly [condemns] this discriminating act of India as sports should be above regional politics […] Our counterpart Blind Cricket Association in India pleaded [with] their government for Pakistan’s clearance but nothing was heard.”
🔊: PR NO. 5️⃣5️⃣2️⃣/2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣2️⃣
Pakistan Regrets Non-Issuance of Visa to its Blind Cricket Team by India
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) December 6, 2022
“This discriminating act will have serious consequence[s] on global blind cricket as we at World Blind Cricket will take stern action against them and may not allow India to host future International events,” the statement said.
Foreign Office also called it deeply regretted the non-issuance of visas.
“As a result of the Indian decision, Pakistani players would be deprived of the opportunity to participate in an international sporting event of special significance.
“This reflects India’s insensitivity towards the promotion of sports meant for differently-abled persons,” the FO press release reads.