Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has mentioned that he’ll demand the shifting of the T20 World Cup to UAE if India do not give written assurances on visas for each stakeholder. Last 12 months, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had introduced that the ICC Men`s T20 World Cup 2020, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, can be held in Australia in 2022 whereas India will host the ICC Men`s T20 World Cup 2021 as deliberate.
“Our government has never told us that we can`t play (in India). We have agreed with the ICC that we are going to participate and we can`t contravene that. At the ICC level, I have clearly said we need a written assurance from the Indian government that not only our team and squad`s visas, we also need visas for fans, journalists, and the board officials, but that`s also all written in the ICC host agreement and according to that we have put our demand,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Mani as saying.
“ICC has also been a bit loose on it as they told us that it will be done by Dec 31, 2020, but it didn`t happen. I again raised it in January and in February directly with the ICC chairman, then I talked to ICC management and I told them that I need a clear decision by March. They are saying that by end of March. If it doesn`t come, I will demand the shifting of the event from India to UAE,” he added.
Mani mentioned that ICC has backup plans and if India fails to host the match, it is going to happen at another venue. “It`s already been decided that if India can`t hold the event it will be shifted to UAE. Legally and constitutionally it`s our right to participate in the tournament and nobody can remove us from the tournament and the ICC chairman does realise this,” he mentioned.
“Unfortunately, it`s unhealthy that especially cricket in India is being linked with politics. On a personal level, I have no problems with Sourav Ganguly and he is quite open about it, he wants to organise the tournament in India and I have no problems with it too if he can convince every stakeholder. But ICC has backup plans and if they (India) can`t do it, it will be held at an alternative venue,” Mani added.