The woes of Pakistan-origin players along with officials in Oman World T20 squad grappling with a visa mix-up, it seems, are far from over. Although the team has been permitted to stay in Chandigarh, the players and officials are not being allowed to venture out of the hotel.
“It’s like a virtual house arrest. The experience has been bad so far and whole team is disturbed. Ahead of a major tournament this is something that the team could have done without,” one of the Pak-origin Oman team officials, who didn’t want to be named, said.
The team upon arrival on Thursday discovered that despite clearly mentioning the match venues as Mohali and stay in Chandigarh, they have been given visa for Mohali only. This was done as per policy of the Indian government wherein Pak-origin persons are handed city-based visas.
“We arrived here and were told we can’t stay here. Only after numerous calls to top BCCI officials, including secretary Anurag Thakur, the process of getting the permission began. At the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) club house (where the players were shifted initially), also, we were not allowed to go out of the stadium.
The security were not even allowing us to come out of the club house. The situation got serious when the condition of two of our players, who were running high fever, started to worsen.
“It was then we had to take a stand and finally the players were allowed to go to see a doctor. But all-in-all it left a bitter taste,” the official added.
Oman has been virtually in-and-out of India in the past few months. They have had camps in Rajkot and Dharamsala. The official revealed that the team had similar issues while leaving Mumbai for Oman after their stay in Rajkot.
“We were told by the immigration official that our papers are not in order, so only six players were able to board the 10:30 pm flight and rest stayed back and took the flight out the next day,” the official added.
Trade-wings Tours, which is handling the travel logistics for this ICC event in India, said they in tandem with the PCA are trying to sort the issue out at the earliest.
“We have few meetings lined-up today with top government officials and are hopeful that the issues will be resolved,” Himesh Sublok, vice-president, Trade-wings, said.