The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sent a letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) urging swift processing of visas for journalists and fans planning to attend the upcoming World Cup in India, starting on October 5.
Pakistan, currently based in India for pre-tournament preparations, will play their first World Cup match against the Netherlands on October 6. After facing delays in obtaining visas for players, the PCB has now expressed concerns about visas for Pakistani fans and media.
In the letter, the PCB requested the ICC to expedite the visa process for media and fans. While the number of fans applying for Indian visas remains uncertain, approximately 50 journalists are expected to cover the World Cup.
Sources within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which is hosting the tournament, noted that the Indian External Affairs Ministry is reviewing the journalist names seeking to cover the 50-over event. These applications require clearance from the external affairs, home, and sports ministries, as Pakistan is on India’s prior reference list (PRC).
A BCCI source assured that Pakistan media visa applications are being processed. The PCB expressed concerns that fans and journalists still haven’t received clear information about the visa policy, given that Pakistan has already played one of two warm-up matches and is just six days away from their first World Cup game.
The PCB expects that the ICC and relevant authorities will address these concerns quickly, as anxiety grows among Pakistan’s fans and journalists eager to support and cover their team during the ICC CWC 2023.