KARACHI: The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) has been forced to change the schedule of this month’s Blind Cricket World Cup after the Indian government refused to grant permission to its team to travel to Pakistan for the matches.
According to an official of PBCC, the fixtures of the Indian team will now be played in UAE instead of Pakistan.
“Despite numerous earnest efforts of Cricket Association of the Blind in India (CABI) and Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) of getting clearance of Indian Blind Cricket team to tour Pakistan to play forthcoming World Cup matches .. is still held in abeyance by the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Sultan Shah, chairman PBCC.
“The Indian Foreign Ministry has not in written denied the Indian Team’s participation in Blind Cricket World but Cricket Association of the Blind in India (CABI) told us that Foreign Office has denied verbally,” he added.
The unprecedented delay and reportedly the verbal denial from the Indian Foreign Office has compelled PBCC to change the schedule of the World Cup at the last minute.
Indian team was originally scheduled to arrive in Lahore on January 6, 2018 and the first match was scheduled vs Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium on January 8. Now, India will arrive in UAE on January 6 and will play its first match vs Australia on January 8 in Ajman.
The inaugural match of the tournament will be played between Pakistan and Bangladesh on January 8 in Lahore.
“Govt of Pakistan and Govt of Punjab had assured foolproof security for the World Cup and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is also providing their bullet-proof vehicles for the teams travelling,” the official said.