The Pakistani cricket team will not face difficulty in travelling across the border for the ICC T20 World Cup in October as the Indian government is set to grant visas to the players, several Indian media outlets reported on Saturday.
According to a report carried by The Hindu, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah has informed the Apex Council about the government's decision on giving visas to the Pakistan players.
"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," an Apex Council member told Press Trust of India on conditions of anonymity, according to the report.
The official added that the matter will be decided in due course. "However we had promised ICC that it will be sorted," the official said.
Meanwhile, ESPNcricinfo reported that the event will be staged across nine venues, with Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium hosting the final.
Other venues are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Dharamsala and Lucknow, the report added.
Earlier in February, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani had said Pakistan would push for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) if India didn't provide a written assurance that the national cricket team, its fans and journalists will be granted visas for the event.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore, he had stated the board had communicated these intentions to the International Cricket Council.
“There is a need to change the ‘Big Three’ mindset,” Mani had said. “We are not seeking written assurance for the visas of the national team only, but for the fans, officials and journalists as well."
“The BCCI lures other cricket boards through money," Mani had alleged, adding that the PCB had made its intentions clear to stakeholders — within and outside the country — that "we plan to run our cricket without India".