HomeCricketPCB perplexed as Amir still awaits Ireland visa

PCB perplexed as Amir still awaits Ireland visa


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KARACHI: Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir is still waiting for his Ireland visa to travel to the country for the three-match Twenty20 International series that commences on Friday.

The 32-year-old, who rescinded his international retirement in March to make his Pakistan return ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup, is part of the national side’s 18-member squad for the Ireland series and the four-matches against England after that.

Amir, however, has been left waiting in Lahore while the remaining members of the Pakistan squad flew to Dublin on Monday. The country’s cricket board is in constant touch with its Ireland counterpart.

“We are in regular contact with the Cricket Ireland officials over the matter and they have told us that Amir’s visa is still in process,” a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesperson told Dawn on Wednesday.

Amir was brought back to the national camp following his decision make himself available for Pakistan in order to boost the side’s prospects of winning the T20 World Cup, which is set to be held in the United States and the Caribbean next month.

Pakistan’s matches against Ireland, to be played until May 14 and those against England, scheduled to be held from May 22-30, will serve as the side’s final warm-up ahead of the T20 showpiece, which Babar Azam’s men will kick off with their match against co-hosts US.

Given the importance of the Ireland and England matches, nervousness prevails in the PCB’s offices over Amir’s visa issue, which can potentially cut down the crucial match practice for the bowler, whose only international matches after a gap of four years were four matches in the recent five-match T20I series against New Zealand.

Dawn understands that the PCB remains hopeful that Amir will be granted the visa, but if that does not happen, the pacer will be directly flown to Leeds, where Pakistan will play their first T20 against England.

Amir, who holds temporary residence of the United Kingdom, featured in Ireland’s inaugural Test match in 2018. CI has communicated to the PCB that it is in touch with Ireland’s department of foreign affairs, which, according to the Irish board, works independently.

However, officials in the PCB are perplexed at the situation, having the view that a member cricket board holds the responsibility to ensure visiting team players do not face issues related to visa processing.

Amir, along with the remaining members of the Pakistan contingent, had applied for the visa after the team’s fitness camp in the country’s military academy in Kakul in March.

CI did not respond to Dawn’s enquiry over the issue.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2024

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