In a reversal of its stand, the Union Home Ministry on Monday granted visa to players of Pakistan’s T20 team Faisalabad Wolves to stay in Chandigarh, a day after they were unceremoniously asked to go to Mohali after they had checked in a hotel in Chandigarh.
Players of the Faisalabad Wolves were on Sunday asked to leave the hotel in Chandigarh after they had checked in and asked to go to Mohali because their visas were marked only for that Punjab town.
A senior Home Ministry official told PTI that the cricketers have applied for additional visa for Chandigarh on Monday morning and they have been granted that.
The Pakistani team, which will play their first match in Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) cricket tournament on Tuesday, was initially given visa only for Mohali, located in Punjab, not far away from Chandigarh.
“We have given them visa for Mohali and Chandigarh,” the official said, indicating that if the Faisalabad Wolves goes to the next round and apply for other cities, the applications would be considered accordingly.
After initial hiccups, the visa to the Pakistani team was given at the eleventh hour, apparently at the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Faisalabad team, led by Misbah-ul-Haq, was invited to play in the qualifying round of the CLT20 to be held across different cities of India from September 17 to October 6.
The Wolves would play their qualifying matches in Mohali with three other teams, Sunrisers Hyderabad (Indian Premier League team), Otago Volts (New Zealand) and Kandurata Maroons (Sri Lanka).
The Faisalabad team’s participation in the CLT20 was confirmed until the LoC issues arose and that led to tensions between the two countries.
The Sialkot Stallions, champions of Pakistan’s domestic league last year, had taken part in the qualifying round of the CLT20 which was held in South Africa last year.