Former cricketer and PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani expresses matters regarding visa problems faced by fans and journalists attending the ICC World Cup 2023.
He appealed to the PCB to show leadership by recalling the Pakistani team before October 14, the date when they are slated to compete against India in Ahmedabad.
“It’s time for the PCB to take a stand and exhibit leadership. If Pakistani fans and journalists don’t receive Indian visas, then the PCB should consider bringing the team back before the scheduled Pakistan-India match on October 14,” Mani expressed.
“In a situation where Pakistani spectators and journalists are effectively barred, there’s no valid reason for the Pakistani cricket team to participate in the World Cup in India.”
The 78-year-old emphasized that politics and sports should remain separate.
Mixing sports with politics is inappropriate. India’s actions are in violation of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) regulations, creating unfavorable circumstances.
“No tournament around the world can be successful without the presence of a team’s fans and journalists. If the PCB recalls their team from India, they won’t incur any financial losses.”
“When I served as the chairman of the PCB, I raised this issue regarding the visa policy for fans and journalists three times in ICC meetings. At that time, Sourav Ganguly, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), assured me that there would be no visa-related issues for Pakistanis. However, now that the tournament has commenced, we are not being allowed to enter the country.”
PCB is concerned about Pakistani fans and journalists’ participation.
Pakistan Cricket Board disappointed with visa uncertainty for journalists and fans covering ICC World Cup opener in India.
Pakistani journalists and fans are voicing profound concerns, putting us in a difficult situation. We recognize the vital role that journalists and passionate fans play in enhancing the spirit and ambiance of sporting events.
“Their presence not only adds dynamism to the stadium but also contributes to the worldwide coverage and appreciation of the game. Journalists play a crucial role in bringing the excitement of sports to fans across the globe.”
During the period from 1989 to 1996, Ehsan Mani represented the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) at the International Cricket. During the 1996 Cricket World Cup, he was a member of the advisory committee representing the PCB. He continued in a similar role during the 1999 Cricket World Cup held in England. In 1996, Mani was chosen as the Chairman of the ICC Finance and Marketing Committee by the member nations of the ICC.