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Zimbabwe tour to Pakistan irks India

Zimbabwe team reached Pakistan on Tuesday but without their head coach Lalchand Rajput

PHOTO: AFP

India is forced to stage the thirteenth season of Indian Premier League (IPL) in United Arab Emirates due to the Covid-19 pandemic, whereas Pakistan is getting ready to host Zimbabwe for a limited-overs series after successfully staging the season five of Pakistan Super League (PSL). India thought that Pakistani stadiums will always remain empty but they got a befitting reply. The Covid-19 pandemic is also under control in Pakistan compared to India.

Zimbabwe team reached Pakistan on Tuesday but without their head coach Lalchand Rajput. Embassy of India in Harare wrote to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) asking that Rajput be exempted from visiting Pakistan. The Embassy of Pakistan in Harare had issued a visa to Rajput, further confirming Pakistan’s policy of not mixing sports with politics.

It is disappointing that India has once again mixed sports with politics and the aforementioned incident is a prime example of it. International Cricket Council (ICC) is also mum regarding this development since they are helpless in front of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

This proves the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) decision to seek visa assurance from ICC for the 2021 T20 World in India, is absolutely justified. What if Government of India (GOI) does not issue visas to Pakistani cricketers? In 2019, two Pakistan shooters were denied a visa to compete in the ISSF World Shooting championship in Delhi, due to the strained political relations between the two countries.

Previously, India was not in favour of playing bilateral series with Pakistan. Now they are meddling in Pakistan’s bilateral series with other countries as well. If Rajput had come to Pakistan, he would have received similar security as other Zimbabwe cricketers and would have enjoyed Pakistan’s warm hospitality. However, once again GOI has shown their real face to the whole world. I hope this incident does not affect the upcoming series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Cricket Pakistan.