Abdul Jalil, the Sialkot resident who is present in every match Pakistan play around the world, won’t be at four of the five matches in India. Travel agents in Pakistan entrusted with selling the tickets have told HT that they are yet to reach them.
“Apart from 1,000 tickets for the New Delhi match on January 6, no ticket of any other match has reached us. Even if we get it now it would be impossible to process the visa applications,” Mathew D’ Souza of Bukhari Travel Service told HT from Karachi. Two other PCB-appointed agents had the same complaint.
The BCCI said on Friday that the PCB had sought 500 tickets each for Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata and 1000 for Delhi, for the final game. It said the PCB had then informed that only 25 tickets each for Chennai and Kolkata were needed apart from the tickets for Delhi.
The Indian government had announced it would issue multiple city visas if the fans held match and travel tickets as well as hotel reservation slips. But visa applications won’t be processed without tickets. Cricket Association of Bengal has, however, allotted a block with 500 seats for Pak fans and sent the tickets to BCCI.
Shah Nawaz of the Brit Pak Tours and Travel told HT: “The Indian government has restricted fans from Pakistan to only 14 hotels in New Delhi. There are restrictions in other cities as well, but we’ve not received that list. So it is impossible for us to process visa, buy air tickets and book hotels for other venues.” The 63-year-old Jalil, who hasn’t missed a Pakistan match since 1980, is desperately hoping someone will arrange a journalist’s visa for him.