THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 16th SEPTEMBER 2013: Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq said he hoped India’s decision to allow local team Faisalabad to play on Indian soil will open up more cricket opportunities between the two nations.
Misbah will lead Pakistan’s domestic Twenty20 champions Faisalabad Wolves in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League starting in the Indian town of Mohali tomorrow after New Delhi cleared the tour.
Misbah said matches between the two cricket-obsessed nations should not be halted by politics.
“I feel cricket must go on,” Misbah told AFP. “Giving a Pakistani team clearance is a positive sign and I hope this will help open more doors for Indo-Pak cricket.
“It is a fact that people of both the countries enjoy Indo-Pak cricket and it is necessary for both the countries to have a regular exchange of cricket tours because it minimises tensions and brings people together.”
Misbah denied players would be scared by recent tensions, sparked by a string of recent clashes in the disputed Kashmir region.
“When we play cricket, people forget everything. We never expect and never fear any aggression. I am going to India with an open mind, with a message of friendship and peace, as always.”
Wolves shifted to Mohali due to visa issues
Wolves reached Chandigarh on Saturday but despite receiving a green signal from Indian authorities for their participation, they were forced to shift out of the city after it emerged that their visas were only valid for Mohali.
The team was shifted from their hotel in Chandigarh to the clubhouse of Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium at Mohali due to visa issues, according to The Hindu.
“The PCA will accommodate them in the clubhouse and the BCCI is in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Home Ministry to see that they get visa for Chandigarh also.” PCA Joint Secretary G S Walia told reporters. “We are hopeful that it will be done in a day and they will be shifted back to the Chandigarh hotel.”