Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) is awaiting clearance from the Indian government to travel to Pakistan for the fifth Cricket World Cup scheduled to be held from January 7 to 21.
“Pakistan and Dubai will be hosting world cup for blind from January 7 to 21, but we are awaiting green signal from the Indian government for us to go to Pakistan,” CABI General Secretary E John David told PTI in Bangalore.
In the past, the Indian team was allowed to travel to Pakistan for the tournament despite the political tensions between the two neighbouring countries.
David exuded confidence that the Indian government would give them the go ahead this time too.
“We have applied for permission. I am very hopeful that our government will allow us to fly down to Pakistan to play. In 2011, 2013 and 2014 we flew to Pakistan to play matches amidst political tension between the neighbouring countries,” he said.
Apart from India and Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa are the other participating nations, CABI President G K Mahantesh said.
The team will be flying to Pakistan on January 5 for the event after undergoing a month-long training in Bangalore.
“Pakistanis have been a good host earlier. People there are hospitable and we enjoyed every bit of the stay in Pakistan during our previous tours,” Mahantesh said.
“I and players would really like to visit Pakistan. We are hoping a positive response from our government.”
Blind players are the best ambassadors for improving relationship between India and Pakistan, he said.
Md. Jafar Iqbal (B1 category), Nareshbhai Tumda (B1), Mahender Vaishnav (B1), Sonu Golkar (B1), Prem Kumar (B1), Basappa Vadgol (B1), Ajay Kumar Reddy (B2), D. Venkateswara Rao (B2), Ganeshbhai Muhudkar (B2), Surajit Ghara (B2), Anilbhai Gariya (B2), Prakash Jayaramaiah (B3), Deepak Malik (B3), Sunil Ramesh (B3), T. Durga Rao (B3), Pankaj Bhue (B3), Rambir (B3).