Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan has revealed that Pakistan wants written assurance about the visas being issued to their cricketers for the next year's T20 World Cup. He also assured that the newly appointed Test captain Babar Azam will stay as captain across formats for a long time.
India is slated to host the 2021 T20 World Cup next year. Given the sour relations between South Asian neighbors India and Pakistan, there are always concerns in terms of Pakistanis getting visas for India for any sporting event. India and Pakistan no longer engage in bilateral series and only clash in multi-team tournaments.
Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan has stated there are chances of the T20 World Cup being moved to UAE if the Covid-19 situation worsens in India. He also added that PCB want written assurance that will guarantee the issuing of visas to Pakistan players for the ICC mega event if it takes place in India.
"There is still some uncertainty over the World T20 being held in India…yes because of the Covid situation there. It could be in the UAE," Wasim Khan said in an interview to the Cricket Baaz YouTube channel, reported TOI.
In fact, Khan went on to claim that PCB chief Ehsan Mani has already asked for written assurance given the poor relations between India and Pakistan.
"Yes Mani Sahab (PCB chief Ehsan Mani) has written to them and requested them that given the state of relations between India and Pakistan, it would be best if the ICC and BCCI gives a written assurance about the visas being issued to us," Khan said.
He also added that the next Asia Cup will be hosted by Sri Lanka while Pakistan have the rights for the 2022 Asia Cup.
"The next Asia Cup will be hosted in Sri Lanka in June and we have got hosting rights now for the 2022 Asia Cup. But yes bilateral relations are not ideal and that is why we have also asked for the assurances for next year's World Cup," he opined.
PCB recently appointed Babar Azam as captain across formats as they replaced Azhar Ali with him for the Test captaincy. Babar will captain Pakistan in New Zealand Tests that will start from December 26 besides leading them in the preceding three-match T20I series. PCB CEO also assured that Azam will remain captain for a long time.
"I can assure you that until Ehsan Mani and myself are in the Pakistan board Babar will remain captain. We have appointed him captain because he is our best batsman, young and mentally very strong and he himself wanted to take on the responsibility for all three formats," Wasim Khan said.
"We felt that he is our best choice because he has a good future, he is our best batsman and getting better every day and we have found him to be mentally very strong when we first tested him as captain in the white ball formats. That's why when the time came we felt that Azhar Ali had done his best but now was the time to start grooming Babar and make him test captain as well."
He also went on to reveal that Azam had inclination to captain Pakistan in Tests and is ready to handle the pressure that comes along the leadership role.
"Babar himself showed keen interest in becoming Test captain and assured us he could handle the pressures and it would not affect his batting," Khan stated.