Ahead of the 3-test match series against Australia, the PCB struggles with visa delays leaving the doctors and team managers behind. The upcoming test series for Pakistan commences on 14th December 2023 against the cricket world champions on their home ground.
Since 1995, Pakistan has never won any test series on Australian soil. A tough challenge greets Pakistani cricketers after the World Cup 2023. Additionally, the Pakistan cricket team has another formidable challenge to perform against the Aussies without a chief doctor. Also, the U-19 cricket squad is without a team manager in the UAE.
Moreover, the PCB struggles with visa delays and passport issues being completely immersed in a state of dilemma. Consequently, it is extremely problematic to replace the staff as well as players in the squad due to expired visa cases.
Expired passports and visa issues have created a problem for the national senior cricket team. Similarly, the U-19 squad traveling to the UAE has faced this issue.
As a result, Netizens raised questions that couldn’t the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) have verified the passport and visa clearance for players and team staff before announcing the squad.
PCB struggles with visa delays: Players and Staff Members restricted for Pakistan tour of Australia 2023
Especially, after the World Cup 2023, the PCB has been facing many challenges to ensure Pakistan team plays first-class cricket.
According to the latest sources, the PCB struggles with visa delays for these individuals ahead of the crucial matches:
Earlier, the PCB appointed Sohail Saleem as the team’s chief doctor for the upcoming Australia and New Zealand series.
However, the PCB is contributing its best efforts to successfully obtain a visa for Sohail.
On the other side, there are other reasons for Sohail Saleem not to travel to Australia. Despite visa issues, the chief doctor could have traveled on Sunday (10th December 2023) and joined the team in Perth.
This is because his father, a cancer patient, is suffering from a serious illness. Also, Sohail Saleem informed his decision to PCB earlier.
At present, the PCB is evaluating the alternatives for finding a substitute chief doctor. Moreover, the option of acquiring the assistance of a local doctor is under review.
Furthermore, PCB struggles with visa delays for the former test cricketer Shoaib Muhammad.
The formertest batsman was earlier appointed as the team manager of the Pakistan junior cricket team participating in the forthcoming Asia Cup 2023–24 tournament.
Shoaib Muhammad has been facing the issue of an expired passport in recent times. As a result, due to visa delays, Shoaib hasn’t been able to travel with his team in the UAE.
Meanwhile, the PCB has declared that they will soon sort out the ongoing process of renewing Shoaib’s passport to facilitate his travel to the UAE.
Initially, the selection committee named Abrar Ahmed for the Australian tour. Recently, discomfort in his right leg on Day 3 of the four-day warm-up match against Prime Minister’s XI, raised new difficulties for the PCB.
As a result, the selectors ruled out the 25-year-old leg-spinner from the test series against the Aussies. The PCB confirmed that Abrar Ahmed will be provided assistance and will soon pursue his restoration period under the supervision of the team’s medical staff.
Eventually, the PCB found an alternative off-spinner for Abrar Ahmed’s replacement.
Meanwhile, the PCB Chief Selector Wahab Riaz has approved Sajid Khan for the forthcoming test series on behalf of the team’s request.
Sajid Khan, a 30-year-old substitute spin bowler, will be a part of the 15-member Pakistan cricket team squad.
Additionally, PCB struggles with the visa delays of the substitute player as well for the upcoming test series.
Consequently, Sajid faces a delay in his departure to Australia due to the complications and non-clearance of his visa.
Furthermore, Wahab Riaz clarified that Sajid Khan will travel to Perth once his travel arrangements are confirmed.
Notably, visa delays have restricted some of the staff members as well as the U-19 cricketer from traveling abroad for the upcoming crucial international matches.
Importantly, it is the responsibility of the board to ensure that the touring squads travel with clearance before announcing the teams officially.
Moreover, a national cricket board should guarantee that the team along with its staff members should be attending the match at the scheduled date and venue.
Despite PCB’s initiative to restructure the entire team after the CWC 2023 tournament, they lacked in a basic aspect.
Overall, the board could have made a successful attempt to verify the passport and visa clearance of the players as well as the team staff beforehand of the international series matches.