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India denies visas to Pakistan team for Blind T20 World Cup

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LAHORE: India refused to issue visas for the Pakistan team to participate in the Blind T20 World Cup 2022, previously scheduled to commence on Tuesday (December 6) in New Delhi.

According to the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC), the foreign ministry of India has rejected the visa applications of the Pakistan team, halting them to participate in the mega event.

The tournament was supposed to commence in New Delhi today, but it has been postponed due to uncertainty surrounding Pakistan’s participation and arrival.

According to the details, the national blind cricket team was scheduled to leave for India on December 4, however, India’s reluctance in issuing visas has put their world cup campaign in jeopardy.

The top-ranked side and two-time runners-up Pakistan were considered one of the favourites to win the title considering their performances in recent international fixtures.

“This unfortunate incident has left Pakistan Blind Cricket Team in the lurch. Pakistan was a serious contender to win the World Cup as Pakistan has been the Runners-up twice in the earlier two editions of this format of World Cups (2012 & 2017) and has beaten the current T-20 World Champion India five (5) times consecutively in the last five encounters during two Tri-Nation competitions in 2021 and 2022 and won both events,” said PBCC in a press release.

“It was highly likely that Pakistan and India would have locked horns in the Final of the ongoing World Cup and considering the current form of Green Shirts, Pakistan had the high chances to win the World Cup,” the statement added.

Speaking on the occasion, the chairman of PBCC Syed Sultan Shah expressed his disappointment over India’s unprofessional act and asserted that the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) will take strict action against India.

“It is disappointing to see India once again playing politics in sports,” said the PBCC chairman.

“World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) will take strict action against India. They might face a ban on hosting events in the future,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention that Shah is also the president of the global blind cricket governing body WBCC.

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