Pakistan's Faisalabad Wolves have been granted visa for all the cities where Champions League T20 matches will be played. The qualifiers will be played in Mohali on Tuesday. Delhi, Jaipur, Ranchi and Ahmedabad are scheduled to host the main round matches starting September 21.
After being forced out of their Chandigarh hotel and put in the clubhouse of Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali due to visa issues, the Pakistani T20 champions were granted permission to return to Chandigarh on Monday evening. According to a press release from PCA, the team has now been granted visas for all the tournament venues by the Indian government. (Morale high in team, says manager)
The team, captained by Pakistan's Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, received an eleventh hour clearance on Friday to travel to India. It was the effort made by the Prime Minister's Office that paved the way for the Faisalabad team to participate. Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs reportedly refused to grant visas due to security reasons. (Misbah elated at India opening)
The squad arrived on Saturday, however, only to be forced out from its Chandigarh hotel a day later. According to their passports, the Pakistani players got visa only for Mohali. "The BCCI immediately taken up (took up) the matter with Ministry of Home Affairs to rectify and add Chandigarh on the visa list. Yesterday being Sunday, the action could initiate late in the evening and the Ministry of Home Affairs has taken appropriate decision and has done the needful. The Faisalabad Wolves have shifted to their designated hotel," read a media release from PCA. (Wolves forced to leave hotel)
While the team gets ready to face Otago Volts in the opening qualifying match in Mohali on Tuesday, team manager Raza Rashid said the visa harassment will not play on the minds of the players. "We are here to play cricket, that is all that matters. Everyone is looking forward to the start of the competition, the morale within the camp is excellent." (PMO steps in to get visas for Wolves)
Faisalabad will be the second team from Pakistan, after Sialkot Stallions to take part in the Champions League. Sialkot played the 2012 tournament in South Africa. (Faisalabad confident of good show)