New Delhi:The Indian Home Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday has cleared visas for four of the five Pakistani players who were scheduled to be a part of the next season of the Indian Premier League.
The four players are Sohail Tanvir, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal. Just two days ago, IPL commissioner and chairman Lalit Modi had said that these players would have to be left out of IPL 3 since they didn't have their paperwork in order despite two extensions to the deadline.
The Pakistan Cricket Board said at the time that all the visa papers had been sent to the Indian High Commissions in Islamabad and New Zealand where the Pakistan team is currently playing a series. They said that the delay was all from the Indian side. With the Indian MEA now clearing those visas, it's likely that the Pakistani cricketers will be allowed to play in March next year.
Butt happy over Pak players' visa grant
While Modi says the decision on whether to allow Pakistan players in IPL 3 will be taken soon.
"Decision of Pak players in IPL to be taken on December 17," said the IPL commissioner.
Former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan too expressed concern over India-Pak cricketing encounters.
"There is nothing like the India-Pakistan clashes. India is reaching heights it have never reached before Pakistan getting there as well. In Pakistan, good quality players have come up after a while... the excitement of India Pakistan clashes not just in the sub-continent but the entire cricketing world," said Khan.
The Indian Premier League 3 will be played at various venues in the country in March-April.
Pakistani cricketers took part in the IPL's inaugural season in April-May 2008, but were denied permission by Islamabad to play in the second edition earlier this year due to growing political tensions with India.
The 2009 tournament was shifted to South Africa in April-May when the Indian government said it could not guarantee adequate security because the event clashed with general elections.