For travel authorization for the ODI World Cup, PCB writes to the Pakistani government

On October 15, in Ahmedabad, there will be an India-Pakistan clash

To obtain official approval to travel to India for the ODI World Cup in October-November, the PCB has sent letters to Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, and the interior and foreign ministries. 

The letter requests guidance on a number of issues, including whether the Pakistani team is permitted to visit India, whether any objections have been raised over any of the five venues for the Pakistan games, and whether the Pakistani government wishes to deploy a security mission to do reconnaissance.

In order to tour India, which requires government approval unlike visiting any other country given to tense political ties between the two nations, the PCB wrote the letter on June 26. This was a crucial step. There is no set time limit for the government to react, but the PCB won’t move forward without one. Pakistan’s team will play its nine league matches in five venues, including the significant encounter against India in Ahmedabad on October 15, according to the PCBs schedule, which was shared with the government.

“Soon after the World Cup schedule was announced last Tuesday, we wrote to our Patron, Honorable Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, through the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ministry, copying the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior, requesting clearance to participate in the World Cup,” the PCB told reporters.

“The decision to visit India and approve venues at which we can play our matches is the prerogative of the Government of Pakistan. We have absolute trust in the judgment of our government and will follow whatever is advised. It is entirely up to the Government of Pakistan the process it wants to formulate and follow before advising us on the next steps. If this requires sending an advance team to India to inspect the venues and hold meetings with the event organizers, then it will solely be the government’s decision.”

Pakistan was hesitant to commit to their participation before receiving government approval, even after the fixtures were finally released – after a delay – last week. 

Since the men’s T20 World Cup in 2016, Pakistan hasn’t toured India, but there has been a lot of talk in the past year about the possibility of the two sides traveling together for the 2018 Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup, which will be held by Pakistan (initially) and India, respectively. 

India would not travel to Pakistan, according to the BCCI, thus Pakistan and Sri Lanka will now co-host the Asia Cup, which will be played from August 31 to September 17.

The two teams exclusively compete against one another at the ICC and ACC events and haven’t faced off in any bilateral series against one another in more than ten years.

The Pakistani ministry of foreign affairs had already hinted that it was assessing the team’s World Cup participation and would provide the PCB its assessment when it was appropriate. 

The government’s position toward India is unclear, although recent high-level Pakistani visits to India for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit included Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who made his first trip to India in nearly 12 years. 

The Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting, which will be held via video conference on July 4 and will be hosted by India, is another event in which Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is expected to take part.

It is anticipated that since the current Pakistani government’s term is set to expire in August, any decision about the team’s trip to India would probably be postponed until the new administration enters office. At this time, it’s unlikely that the present administration will make an official declaration. As it did in 2016, when India hosted the T20 World Cup, the situation can continue to linger until closer to the departure date.

2016 saw the team granted a last-minute travel authorization by Nawaz Sharif’s administration following the dispatch of a group to India for security eavesdropping. The PCB had threatened to withdraw from the T20 World Cup unless they received assurance from the Indian government over the security of the Pakistani team, which ultimately led to the India-Pakistan match being moved from Dharamsala to Kolkata.