Afghanistan cricket team granted visas to travel to Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: The three-match One-Day series between Pakistan and Afghanistan is back on track as cricketers from across the border have been granted visas to travel to Pakistan.

According to the well-placed sources in the Foreign Office here, Afghanistan cricket team is expected to cross the border into Pakistan within the next couple of days.

“Yes, the entire Afghan cricket contingent has been granted visas by Pakistan and they are expected to cross the border into Pakistan anytime on Monday or Tuesday,”.

The three-match One-Day series between Pakistan and Afghanistan that is part of the World Cup 2023 qualification is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in the first week of September. Sri Lanka these days are under Covid-19 threats. The country is under a complete lockdown till August 30 with no sports activities are planned there.

Under the prevailing circumstances, it would not be easier for the Sri Lanka Board possibly to organize the series. “Yes, that is right Sri Lanka is under tough Covid-19 restrictions and the country may well not be in a position to host the series. In that scenario Afghanistan Board possibly has sought PCB help to sort out the issue,” the source said.

As the situation stands today chances of Pakistan hosting the Afghanistan home series are growing by each passing day.

“Afghanistan Cricket Board is waiting for the final decision from the Sri Lanka Board which may come on Monday. After which, the position will be much clearer,” The News.

In that case the PCB would be facing a tough ask ranging from organizing training schedule for the visitors, preparing the venue within days, and making all the arrangements to maintain strict Covid-19 SOPs for the purpose.

“It would not be easier at this point of time for Pakistan to host the series as numerous serious challenges are there to host teams in a successful manner,” an official told The News.

He said the PCB had earlier offered Afghan Board to play the series in Pakistan. “The PCB had in fact offered Afghan Cricket to play the series in Pakistan instead of Sri Lanka but it preferred the island. Now it would be really tough for the PCB to make all the arrangements within days. Teams training, hotel booking, venue selection and on top of all that security measures for the purpose are challenging issues,” he said.

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