New Delhi, June 25: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly sought a ‘no terror attack guarantee’ from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after the latter demanded a written assurance from the ICC that there will be no visa-related issues from the Indian government when their team comes to participate in the 2021 T20 World Cup and 2023 World Cup in the country.
As per reports, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan had, apparently, put forth his demands to the global cricket body citing the safety of their players in the neighbouring country.
India and Pakistan have not been on the best of the relations off-late due to the border tensions and the terror attacks perpetrated on the Indian soil by Pakistan-sponsored militants.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that while the ICC rules clearly state that there should be no governmental interference in the running of the game, the same also applies for cricket boards and they shouldn’t interfere in the running of the government.
The official then asked the PCB to provide a written guarantee that there will be no hostility at the border before asking for visa-related assurance from the Indian board.
“Can the PCB give assurance in writing that the Pakistan government would ensure that no illegal incursions into India take place from the Pakistani side or that there’s no violation of the cease-fire or that no act of terror takes place on Indian soil originating in Pakistan or that no repeat of Pulwama type incident takes place?
“The ICC mandates that there should be no interference of governments in the administration of the game and the corollary would be that a sports board doesn’t attempt to interfere with how a government functions.
It’s time the PCB realises that and stops acting like an agent for an individual in the ICC who is known to work against the interest of India. All I would say is that India is a wonderful country and acts in the most balanced way,” the official pointed.
Wasim Khan in an interview on the YouTube Channel ‘Cricket Baaz’ said: “We are also looking at the fact that the ICC World Cups are to be hosted in India in 2021 and 2023 and we have already asked the ICC to give us written assurances from BCCI that we will not face any problems getting visas and clearance to play in India.”
He also said that many Pakistan squads for different sports were not given clearance by the Indian government to play in India in recent times. “That is why we have asked for the advance assurances. But eventually, it is an ICC event and it is their responsibility to ensure we as a full member and signatory of the participants’ agreement go and play in these ICC events,” he said.
The statement from Khan doesn’t hold much weight as the Indian government had already solved the issue with regards to granting visas to athletes from different countries in case of multi-nation sporting events in June 2019.
After issues with hosting a few international sporting events last year, then Union Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya had written to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief Narinder Batra, saying that they are looking forward to cooperating with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on hosting future international sporting events. The letter was also marked to IOC chief Thomas Bach.
The Indian government had maintained that it would permit all qualifying athletes belonging to any nationality to participate in sporting events without any prejudice.
(With inputs from One India & IANS)