India refuses visa to Faisalabad Wolves for T20 tournament

NEW DELHI: India has refused visa to Pakistani team, Faisalabad Wolves, to participate in Champions League Twenty20 tournament scheduled to begin from September 17.

For denial of the visa, although, Indian officials were citing security reasons in the backdrop of recent tension along the Line of Control (LOC), sources said the Indian government succumbed to the pressure of domestic extremist groups who wanted New Delhi to refuse visa to Pakistani team.

“As a matter of abundance precaution and caution in terms of safety and security, the government did not give green signal for the cricket team’s visit,” Indian media cited a government official as saying.

The Faisalabad team, led by national team skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, was invited to play in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League T20 in India, starting on September 17.

The Faisalabad team’s participation in the CLT20 was confirmed until the LoC issues arose and that led to tensions between the two countries.

Last year, the BCCI had invited Pakistan to send its domestic T20 champions — Sialkot Stallions — for the Champions League which was held in South Africa. The Sialkot Stallions, however, failed to qualify for the main round.

This year Faisalabad Wolves, by virtue of emerging as the national T20 champions, had earned the honour of representing Pakistan in the Champions League.