LAHORE: While all foreign cricketers and officials barring all-rounder Moeen Ali of England, who were part of the incomplete 5th HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL), have left back for their respective countries, the 29 Indian officials of the broadcasters team covering the event were denied entry by the Indian immigration authorities at the Attari check-post.
They all are currently stranded there after crossing through Wagah Border on Wednesday. The PSL was postponed on Tuesday by the Pakistan Cricket Board in the backdrop of the growing coronavirus threat.
All the foreign cricketers as well as match and broadcasters’ officials, after clearing their coronavirus test arranged by the PCB, went back to their countries while Moeen will travel on Thursday. However, the Indian-origin broadcasting officials could not reach their homes because of an objection raised by their own immigration staff at the Attari border.
A PCB spokesman told Dawn that the 29 Indian crew members, who were working for the broadcasters of the PSL, had decided to go through Wagah Border in an attempt to reach their country as soon as possible as their government has also announced to keep all the travellers coming from other countries into isolation from March 18.
Though the Pakistani immigration authorities allowed them to go through Wagah, giving a definite relaxation as their visas were only permitting them to travel by air and not on foot, the Indian authorities denied them any such relaxation.
“The Indian officials will come back to Pakistan on Thursday as they have multiple visas and then their air travelling plan would be chalked out again for them to go back to their country,” the spokesman said.
It may be mentioned here that around 134 foreigners including cricketers, match officials and broadcasting staff appeared for the coronavirus tests in the last two days, soon after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to postpone the PSL on Tuesday.
Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2020