Bari sceptical about Pak fans' hospitality

PCB COO Wasim Bari feels if Pakistani fans are not facilitated in India for the 2011 WC, it would negate ICC's policy of attracting support for cricket.

updated: May 01, 2010 10:45 IST
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Pakistan Cricket Board COO Wasim Bari feels if Pakistani spectators are not facilitated for the 2011 World Cup by the Indians it would negate ICC's policy of attracting more support for cricket.

Bari said that the PCB would take up the issue of Pakistani spectators not being provided multiple visas for the World Cup that will be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh early next year.

"Ever since T20 cricket has posed a serious challenge to Test and one-day cricket, the ICC as a matter of policy wants more supporters for the sport specially Test and ODI cricket," Bari said.

"And if our spectators are not facilitated to travel to India for the World Cup matches it would in one way negate the ICC policy.

"We will soon take up this matter at our level but we are hopeful that by the time the World Cup comes around the situation between Pakistan and India would also have eased out," Bari added.

The World Cup central organising committee which met recently in Mumbai was told that the Indian government is willing to provide multiple visas for spectators wanting to travel to India for the tournament matches but Pakistani spectators were excluded from this list.

"Obviously given the passion for cricket in Pakistan the Pakistani people would also like to travel to India for the matches so this is an important issue for us," Bari added.

Although Pakistan plays its preliminary round matches in Sri Lanka it has to travel to India for the knockout matches. The PCB COO was hopeful that sooner or later public opinion from both sides would lead to the revival of bilateral cricket ties between Pakistan and India.

"The fans want to see Pakistan and India play against each other and I personally think the only way to move forward is for both countries to improve relations and cricket can play a big role in this," he said.

Bari, a former Test captain, also admitted that backdoor channels were being used to eventually revive bilateral ties between the countries even at neutral venues.

"Small things are happening they are positive indicators but cricket is also governed by the government policies and anytime we can expect Pakistan and India to resume dialogues at government level," Bari said.

The PCB COO also made it clear that both cricket boards had good relations even though after the Mumbai attacks, the Indian board had cancelled its Test tour to Pakistan causing financial losses to Pakistan cricket.