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ICC T20 World Cup: PCB has asked ICC for written guarantee of visas to Pakistani players, fans, journalists: Ehsan Mani

By our correspondent 

KARACHI:  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani on Sunday said that the Board has asked International Cricket Council (ICC) that they need written confirmation that their players, fans and journalists would be issued visas for the ICC T20 World Cup which India is supposed to host in October this year.
“I have told the PCB Board of Governors that we have asked the ICC that we need written confirmation that our players, fans and journalists in particular will be issued visas. I have already taken up this issue with the ICC and tomorrow I have a virtual meeting with the world body and will raise this again,” Mani told a news conference here at Marriott Hotel on Sunday.
“ICC have told us that they would give us assurance this month. It’s our constitutional right,” Mani said.
“Now it (World Cup) will either be held in India with full protocols which are yet due or it will have to be shifted anywhere else,” the chairman said.
“India has three main issues including our visa issue, tax exemption and Covid situation. It seems that India is being hit by another Covid spike,” Mani pointed out.
“ICC have already decided in its contingency plan if the event cannot be organised in India then it will be held in the UAE. The ICC management wants to decide about the matter by March 31,” Mani revealed.
Mani said that Asia Cup, which Sri Lanka was supposed to host in June this year, is more likely to be postponed and shifted to 2023.
“Asia Cup was scheduled last year which was postponed to 2021. But it seems that this year too it will be impossible to hold. In June the final of the ICC Test Championship is going to be held. Sri Lanka has pledged that they would try to host the Asia Cup in June and now there is a clash of dates of Asia Cup and Test Championship final. We feel that it will not be possible to hold Asia Cup this year and there is the possibility to postpone it to 2023,” Mani said.
The PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan added to this, saying, it seems that Asia Cup will not be held this year.
“It seems that India has reached the ICC Test Championship final and will play against New Zealand. And because of this Asia Cup will not be held. Now we are waiting for confirmation but we are clear that it will not be held this year,” Wasim said.
“We plan ahead. Pakistan men’s team will tour South Africa and Zimbabwe and after that players will get some break which is very important for them, keeping in view the burn out issues about which people often talk. Players will get some time for rest as they will then have to play for six to seven months on road in all three formats,” Wasim said.
Also present in the news conference were the PCB COO Salman Naseer and the PCB Director High Performance Nadeem Khan.
Mani said that already six cricket associations interim boards have been constituted and their members and chairmen announced. We want that these associations could work independently and without any political influence,” Mani said.
“Now they will have to appoint their chief executives, heads of cricket operations and chief accountants. We will give them office space, not in the Board offices, but somewhere in the stadiums so that they could work independently,” Mani said.
“Around 15 to 16 cities come under every association and will need 90 to 100 coaches and we will give employment to former cricketers,” the PCB  chairman said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the PCB Board of Governors on Saturday approved these First Boards of the six Cricket Associations for one year tenure.
During this period, the First Boards will carry out functions attributed to the management committees in the Model Constitutions for City Cricket and Cricket Associations, including managing and running day to day affairs, supervising the first registration of Cricket Clubs under each CCA as per applicable regulations and bylaws and monitoring and organising cricket events and activities within its jurisdiction.
Mani hoped that all associations would become self sufficient in some time. “We have been seeking sponsors for domestic cricket for the first time in cricket history and I am hopeful that all associations will become self-sufficient,” the PCB chairman said.
Meanwhile Nadeem Khan said that club registration schedule and process would be announced in the first week of March.
“We have already signed a deal with Punjab Information Technology (PIT) Board and they have calls centres. We will also give advertisements in newspapers and social media means of the PCB will also also be used. We had used online registration process for Under-19 and Under-16 trials and Covid related financial assistance drive for players and groundsmen which had turned out to be very successful. We will activate that link,” Nadeem said. 
He also announced that in the last week of March they will start trials for cities teams.
“We will start trials in the last week of March for forming cities teams. As many as 90 teams will be formed and so will create more than hundred jobs as 90 coaches will have to be appointed besides CEOs and GMs Cricket which will be a very good opportunity for former cricketers,” Nadeem said.
Salman Naseer said that the procedural legislation for conducting elections of the City Cricket Associations and Cricket Associations has already been made. And in this some minor amendments had to be made in model constitution in order to keep uniformity,” Salman said.
Both the PCB chairman and Chief Executive have shown their satisfaction over the quality of cricket in the ongoing PSL so far.

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