Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has finally given clearance for the issuance of visas to as many as 34 Pakistani players and officials to participate in the ongoing Blind Cricket World Cup 2022 in India.

“MHA has cleared names of 34 players and officials of Pakistan Blind cricket team for World Cup in India after scrutiny,” government sources said.

Earlier, Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) had claimed that its team could not get visa clearance from the Indian external affairs ministry which left the team in the lurch.

However, the ministry denied the allegation by PBCC.

“MHA doesn’t issue visas. All 34 names of the Pakistani players and officials have been cleared for issuance of visas. Foreign high commission issues the visas,” said a government official when asked about the issue.

As many as seven countries-- Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and hosts India will take part in the tournament. India are two-time defending champions of the tournament. A total of 24 matches will be played in the 11-day-long tournament.

India’s matches will be played in Delhi, Indore, Kochi, Cuttack and Panjim. The tournament will be played in nine cities across the country.