ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – BCCI working on visas for Pakistani fans and journalists

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The BCCI is working hard on procuring visas for the Pakistani journalists waiting to travel to India for the World Cup, the ICC said after the PCB expressed its disappointment again over the delay in visa clearance for Pakistani fans and media.

Around 60 Pakistani journalists are expected to make the trip for the World Cup. Pakistan had plenty of local support for their World Cup opener against Netherlands in Hyderabad on Friday but no member of their media contingent or fan was present.

Karachi-born Mohammad Bashir, who is a US citizen, was seen rooting for Pakistan in the stands.

“This (visa) is an obligation of our host (BCCI) and they are working hard on it with our full support. Every effort is being made to get this sorted,” an ICC spokesperson told PTI.

With a large number of fans expected to travel across the border, the PCB is hoping the visas will come through before the game between India and Pakistan in Ahmedabad on October 14.

“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,” a PCB spokesperson said. “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. We understand the significant role that journalists and passionate fans play in enhancing the spirit and atmosphere of sports events.

“Their presence not only adds vibrancy to the stadium but also contributes to the global coverage and appreciation of the game. We hope to see their presence soon.”

It is to be noted that a visa application from a Pakistan passport holder needs to be vetted by multiple Indian ministries including home, external affairs and sports as the country is on India’s prior reference category (PRC) list.

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