A day before they begin their Champions League Twenty20 campaign, a relieved Faisalabad Wolves team finally checked-in at a city hotel in Chandigarh, from where they were asked to move to Mohali due to visa issues.
The Pakistan domestic champions had to spend last night at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium’s clubhouse in Mohali as initially they were issued visa for only this Punjab town. The team had a practice session at the PCA stadium and after getting clearance they left for the hotel in Chandigarh, a Union Territory, which is a common capital of both Punjab and Haryana.
“The team has been given visas for Chandigarh, meaning that they can now stay at the hotel and are free to travel within Chandigarh, where three other teams are putting up,” PCA Joint Secretary, G.S. Walia said.
“The BCCI immediately took up the matter with Ministry of Home Affairs to rectify and add Chandigarh on the visa list. Yesterday being Sunday the action could be initiated late in the evening and Ministry of Home Affairs has taken appropriate decision and has done the needful. The Faisalabad Wolves have shifted to their designated hotel,” Mr. Walia said.
The PCA stadium falls in Punjab and is located about 6 km from the hotel where the teams are putting up.
After getting green signal to compete in the CL T20 league, the Wolves cricketers arrived here on Sunday from Pakistan but were forced out of the city shortly afterwards after it emerged that their visas were valid only for Mohali.
Later, the PCA authorities immediately took up the issue with the BCCI, who in turn got in touch with the Union Government to facilitate early solution to the problem.
The team, which plays its first qualifier at Mohali on Tuesday, was earlier denied visas on the ground that the players faced a security risk in India.
Sources in the Chandigarh police said that they had received instructions to provide foolproof security to the Pakistani team.
Apart from the Wolves, New Zealand side Otago Volts, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Sri Lankan Kandurata Maroons are the other teams that are competing in the Qualifiers.
Faisalabad will be the second team from Pakistan, after Sialkot Stallions, to take part in the Champions League. The Stallions played the 2012 tournament in South Africa, but failed to qualify for the main round.
Meanwhile, owing to last night’s high-velocity winds that lashed Chandigarh, Mohali and adjoining areas, a sight-screen at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium was damaged.
“We are working round-the-clock to put it together. It will be in place before the qualifier match starts tomorrow,” Mr. Walia said.