NEW DELHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said its government will decide over the national team’s participation in next month’s World T20, to be held in India, within this week.
“We expect the government to decide on the matter within this week. We are well prepared in case the government gives permission for the team to travel to India. The visa applications for the players and support staff have been processed, which is part of standard procedure,” PCB’s media director Amjad Hussain said.BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur had yesterday assured highest possible protection to the visiting teams for the mega event in March-April.
The PCB had earlier proposed to play at a neutral venue in case its government doesn’t allow the team to travel to India.
“The question of playing at a neutral venue doesn’t arise at the moment. First we need to wait for the government nod to go to India,” said Hussain.
Pakistan are scheduled to play their tournament opener in Kolkata on March 16, following which they are scheduled to play hosts India in the scenic Dharamsala on March 19.
They play their last two league games in Mohali, against New Zealand and Australia, on March 22 and March 25 respectively.
Asked about the travel plans of the Pakistani team once it is granted government permission and the possibility of the players entering India by foot via Wagah border, Hussain added: “Considering the volatile security situation in Pakistan, we can’t reveal anything on the logistics.
That information is always kept under wraps”.There is intense speculation over the two countries reviving ties on the cricket field. The proposed bilateral series in December could not take place after the Indian government did not give the required go ahead to the BCCI, though the Pakistan government had cleared the series.
Pakistan and India have not played a full bilateral series since 2007. India stalled cricketing ties in the aftermath of 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.
Pakistan, however, had toured India for a short ODI series in 2012.