India will allow Pakistani cricket fans who cannot find an Indian sponsor to travel to the country to watch the cricket series beginning later this month, but will keep a close watch on them.
The home ministry told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the BCCI had earmarked 3,300 tickets for the Pakistani Cricket Board. Every 11th ticket would be a VIP ticket. "The BCCI will send 50 VIP tickets per venue to the PCB for the four venues, and for Delhi, they will send 100 VIP tickets," Mullappally Ramachand-ran, minister of state for home affairs told the Lok Sabha.
In addition, 500 spectator tickets per venue – and 1,000 tickets for Delhi – will be sent to the PCB. The ministry also clarified that the Pakistani fans would be eligible to travel to India on normal visas if they had a sponsor. Those who cannot find an Indian sponsor will face some restrictions and will have to furnish receipts for travel and stay.
Ministry sources said they had been asking the cricket board to take some responsibility for the fans who couldn't find a sponsor. Accordingly, the BCCI agreed to "suggest" to the PCB the list of hotels at each venue where the Pakistani spectators could stay. Special counters for police reporting would also be set up at these locations.