After enduring days of frustration and uncertainty, Pakistani journalists have finally received the much-awaited visa clearance to travel to India for their media duties at the ICC World Cup 2023. This development brings great relief to media personnel across the border, as they can now arrive on Indian shores and cover the highly anticipated fixtures of the marquee tournament. The tour kicks off with the much-anticipated clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the league stage on Saturday, October 14, in Ahmedabad.
Cricket enthusiasts and journalists based in Pakistan can rejoice as their media representatives will be present to cover the high-voltage encounter against India. The Indian government’s traveling authorities have granted the go-ahead signal to all 60 journalists who had applied for Indian visas, ensuring their participation in the media coverage of the World Cup. To facilitate their journey, all media personnel were provided with their visa clearance in Karachi on Wednesday, October 11, and will be arriving in Ahmedabad just in time to cover the sold-out fixture at the 1.2 lakh capacity stadium.
Notably, the visa clearance for Pakistani journalists comes as a welcome relief following a controversial delay in the process. Despite applying well in advance, the journalists faced uncertainty, which resulted in their absence during Pakistan’s matches against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in the Hyderabad leg of the campaign. Concerns were raised in certain quarters regarding potential anti-Pakistan sentiments influencing the decision-making process, and the matter even reached the ICC level.
However, timely and fruitful discussions between officials from the ICC, BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), and Indian government authorities have finally resolved the issue. The outcome of these deliberations has paved the way for cricketing sentiment to prevail and ensured that journalists from Pakistan can provide comprehensive coverage to fans in their homeland throughout the World Cup.
Following the much-anticipated India-Pakistan clash, Pakistan will face off against Australia on October 20, Afghanistan on October 23, South Africa on October 27, Bangladesh on October 31, New Zealand on November 4, and England on November 11 during the rest of their league campaign. It is an exciting opportunity for Pakistani journalists to capture the essence of the sport’s biggest carnival, which spans from October 8 to November 19.
Overall, the resolution of the visa clearance saga has brought a sense of relief and excitement among Pakistani journalists and cricket fans alike. With media representatives now present, the coverage of the ICC World Cup 2023 will be more comprehensive and inclusive, allowing fans from both countries to stay connected with the tournament and witness the intense cricketing action unfold on the field.