New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has given clearance for the issuance of visas to 34 Pakistani players and officials to participate in the ongoing Blind Cricket World Cup 2022 in India.
“MHA has cleared names of 34 players and officials of Pakistan Blind cricket team for World Cup in India after scrutiny,” government sources said.
In a statement on Tuesday, Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) claimed that its team could not get visa clearance from the Indian external affairs ministry which left the team in the lurch.
Asked about the issue, the government officials said, “MHA doesn’t issue visas. All 34 names of the Pakistani players and officials have been cleared for issuance of visas. Foreign high commission issues the visas.”
The semifinals and the grand final will be hosted by Bengaluru.
While the Ajay Reddy-captained India against Nepal in the first game of the tournament at Faridabad’s Sledge Hammer ground on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the big India-Pakistan clash is slated to take place a day later at the DDA Siri Fort Sports Complex in the national capital.
Seven countries — Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and hosts and two-time defending champions India — will feature in the 11-day 24-match schedule drawn up for the event. Besides Delhi/NCR, India’s matches will be played in cities like Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Kochi in Kerala, Cuttack in Odisha and Panjim in Goa.
The World Cup will consist of 24 matches to be played in nine cities.