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Canada World Cup plans hit by visa problems for four players

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 17, 2011

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Rizwan Cheema lofts the ball on his way to an unbeaten 76, Canada v Kenya, 1st ODI, Toronto, August 19, 2009
Rizwan Cheema is a key player for Canada but has not been issued an Indian visa © Eddie Norfolk
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Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup | Caribbean T20
Teams: Canada

Canada's preparation for the World Cup has been hampered by a delay in Indian visas for four key players in their squad.

Batsman Rizwan Cheema, allrounder Umar Bhatti, paceman Khurram Chohan and back-up keeper Hamza Tariq - all Pakistan-born - were all ruled out of Canada's recent pre-tournament warm-up in India and Ranjit Saini, the Cricket Canada president, told Pakistan's Daily Mail the problems have damaged the team.

"[We have been] waiting to have visas processed for several months now," he said. "Canada took a pre-World Cup preparatory visit to India in November and the visas were applied for before that.

"We couldn't take these players to India and as a result our training plans have suffered. [It's] a source of distraction and is hurting team morale in general. We are making efforts but so far there is no outcome. They are the star players of our team, Rizwan Cheema was in the IPL auction."

Saini confirmed that Canada will take a full-strength to Bangladesh in February for the official World Cup warm-up matches and the opening ceremony before proceeding to Colombo for their opening fixture, against Sri Lanka. The team is currently competing in the Caribbean T20, where they won a stirring encounter with England domestic Twenty20 Champions Hampshire.

They have just two days from returning from that tournament before they head off to Dubai to prepare for the World Cup and Saini is hoping the visas can be sorted by then.

"The problem is that if this is not resolved in next week or so, the team will be on the move and players can't come back to Canada for visa processing. The short window of opportunity is now causing the issue to become a major problem."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

Bad support to India. Canadian got talent but Indians disappeared them.... North Americans need like this heroes like Rizwan Cheema,Umar Bhatti,Hamza Tariq & Khurram Chohan...Canadians need like this heroes....If Indian didnt give visa to them..then they will be shameful.......

Posted by landl47 on (January 17, 2011, 6:40 GMT)

I lived in Canada for 25 years and it's hard enough for Canadian cricketers to get opportunities to play against top-level opposition without this nonsense. Mind you, since Australia are playing in the same group in the WC, Canada can expect complaints and jokes about their 'foreign' players.

Posted by CricPatriot on (January 17, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

What else can you expect from Indians, ICC should interfere in this issue and make sure that the Canadian players gets the Visa for India. India should avoid using this dirty politics against Pakistani origin cricket payers, in any case they have to give visa for the world cup so why so much fuss? fail to understand

A patriotic Canadian

Posted by   on (January 17, 2011, 5:01 GMT)

Now this is called going too far.....shame on Indian authorities!

Posted by Meety on (January 17, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

LOL - this is India's secret ploy to win WC! Don't let any foreigners in unless it is for the IPL!!!!!!!

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