Will push for T20 World Cup’s relocation in absence of visa assurance from India: Ehsan Mani
Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani said they will push for the upcoming T20 World Cup’s ‘relocation’ to the UAE if India doesn’t provide a written assurance that its team, fans and scribes will be granted visas for the event.
During an interaction with reporters at the PCB headquarters in Lahore, Mani said his board had expressed their views to the ICC.
“There is a need to change the ‘Big Three’ mindset,” Mani said.
“We are not seeking written assurance for the visas of the national team only, but for the fans, officials and journalists as well.”
The veteran cricket administrator added, “We have told the ICC that India should give written assurances by the end of March so that we know where we stand or we will push for the relocation of the World Cup from India to UAE,” he said.
India is scheduled to host the T20 showpiece in October-November.
Mani also said that they wanted written assurances from the BCCI about the security arrangements for the Pakistan entire contingent.
He said on Friday the assurances were necessary given the “existing relationship” between the two countries.
In the absence of bilateral cricket between the two countries, Mani said his board had made its intentions clear to the game’s stakeholders — within and outside the country — that “PCB plans to run our cricket without India.”
The PCB chairman also said the board was hopeful that all its cricketers would get vaccinated by the month of March and revealed that the upper brass was in contact with the National Command Operation Centre, which is coordinating Pakistan”s coronavirus response.
Mani said that the PCB had worked a lot in getting teams to resume touring Pakistan for Test and white ball cricket.
He highlighted the board’s efforts in hosting international cricket — which saw tours from Zimbabwe for three ODIs and as many T20Is and South Africa for two Tests and three T20Is — and an entire domestic season despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mani said that the PCB had not consulted the ICC before taking a decision to have full-fledged domestic and international cricket activities in the country for the current season.
He also expressed disappointment over Cricket Australia’s decision to not send its men’s team to South Africa and said, “At the peak of the virus in England in the summer of 2020, the Pakistan men”s team toured England.”
Speaking about this year’s Asia Cup, he said Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had created a window for the event, which will be held in the T20 format.