Champions League news September 12, 2013

Faisalabad hopeful of visas despite uncertainty


Faisalabad Wolves, Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 champions, are optimistic of taking part in the Champions League though they have not yet been issued with visas for India. They have been training and focusing on their cricket, team officials said, in preparation for the tournament.

Faisalabad play their first match on September 17 in Mohali, and they called off their last practice session scheduled for Thursday evening in the expectation that they would be issued their visas and would need time to pack.

However, there was no official indication either way from the Indian government or the BCCI on whether the visas would be granted. The PCB also told ESPNcricinfo that the visas had neither been issued nor denied.

"The players have been training assuming that they are going to depart as planned," Haroon Rasheed, the Faisalabad team manager, told ESPNcricinfo. "There may be some uncertainty but the players are asked to just focus on cricket and nothing else. We have completed our conditioning camp and the players have dispersed to do their packing and get ready by tonight."

If they get their visas, Faisalabad will be only the second Pakistan team to take part in the Champions League and the first in India - Sialkot Stallions competed in the 2012 tournament in South Africa.

The mood within the camp was one of hope and excitement. "For us who haven't played at the national level it is a mega event," one player said. "It will boost our careers. We are obviously down but are hopeful. It would be really unfair for us to be denied at the last hour. If they did not want to allow us they should have denied earlier instead of taking so long."

The players are scheduled to depart in two batches; those in Lahore are due to leave on Saturday while three players in the Pakistan national team - Misbah ul Haq, Saeed Ajmal and Ehsan Adil - are due to fly from Zimbabwe on the completion of the current series. The last day of the ongoing second Test in Harare is on Saturday.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 13, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Nauman Rupan: As Capt.Meanster said, the recent incidents around LOC is the one which threw spanner in the works. The invitation went much before that. Before the World Cup 2011, there were no such fresh & raw wounds

    Neither Boards were behind the LOC incidents; and neither has the power to take any decision without the respective Home Ministrys' clearance.

    Even the Home Ministry can not decide on it unilaterally. Many other Ministries are involved; including External Affairs & Defense. So let us all be a bit more sensible in our reactions.

    Yes: all we cricket lovers feel extremely bad for the players, particularly those had never got (or rarely get) to play at this level. In fact, many of us are waiting eagerly for the day the Indo-Pak matches can resume.

  • Android on September 13, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    It's not about crying its about the principals they qualified for the league and they should be allowed to play. If a bunch of professional cricket players threaten the security of Indian people then I don't even know what to say. with regards to if they have a chance to win or not that will only be found out if they are allowed to play.

  • Karthikeyan on September 13, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    You may recall that the aborted inaugural 2008-09 Champions League Twenty20 tournament (which was to be held in India in Dec. 2008), was cancelled due to the Mumbai terrorist carnage, in late Nov., 2008. Back then, Sialkot Stallions were the Pakistan franchise that had been invited to play in the CL T20. So, I think the Faisalabad Wolves may have been left out of this tournament based, not only - out of indignation over the willful massacre committed by cross-border terrorists - but, also because, like Israel, India is vulnerable to such attacks with or without a pre-text for committing it. Also, even though this event is sponsored by ACB, BCCI, & UCBSA, & is by invitation only for any teams that are not sent by the host boards; it was still given an international window by the ICC, which represents all the world's Cricket boards, including Pakistan. So, the best option would be, for only UCBSA to host CL T20 on an annual basis, as there are timing issues with matches broadcast by ACB.

  • Manesh on September 13, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    Pak should stop crying about Indian visa. They can't even beat one team in this series. So, they must be happy with the situation that they got an excuse to show. To be frank, I am afraid of security of people in India if they allowed.

  • B on September 13, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Don't mix cricket with politics. Hope Faisalabad Wolves gets Visa and I am sure they are most balanced side to win the cup.

  • Mohammad on September 13, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Faisalabad Wolves, get a life and have some self respect...not getting a visa is not end of the some courage and refuse to go to India...I also suggest all Pakistani players not to consider going India until they are invited respectfully…hell with them….I believe sports should not take place between India and Pakistan until and unless the ties between the two countries come to normal function...

  • Manesh on September 13, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    Even a full strength Pak team cannot win against ZIM, then how come they win in CL where other teams has foreign players in it!!

  • Dummy4 on September 13, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    @irfan Come to think of it faisalbad wolves doesn't even deserve a place in CT leave alone challenging other teams and Indian teams especially with the inclusion of foreign player. Also you guys will need rest esp after the mental trauma pak team is going thru against a team like Zimbabwe

  • o on September 13, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    If they can't play it will be the final nail in the coffin that is CLT20 what an utter farce t 4 IPl sides taking all the best players making West Indies only winner still have to qualify and now not even allowing the sole Pakistan side to compete ! Terrible for all cricket fans as the CLT20 had/has so much potential.

  • Dummy4 on September 13, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Very Bad its mean whatever happening on the media all are drama. We all talking about to make good relationship between these two countries, bring peace to the region, start trade and many more....

    I know indian people are very good and friendly but the govt looks not sincere to their words, i have been in UAE since 15 years and have many indian friends we never feels that we are from two different countries.

    I request Indian government to please allow Pakistani players to participate in CLT and create love bw Indo-Pak, we are in 20th century we don't have time to have, we want peace and love throughout the WORLD. Please understand.