Pakistan has joined Australia, Canada and Ghana in pulling out of the fifth Commonwealth Boxing Championships starting here on March 12.

Pakistan, which was to send a 10-member team for the event, could not get the requisite clearance to travel to India from the country’s interior ministry.

“Pakistan is not coming, they didn’t get the government clearance,” an Indian Boxing Federation official said.

Earlier, Australia and Canada had pulled out of the championships citing previous commitments, while Ghana backed out at the 11th hour on Monday.

With these pullouts, the size of the field has come down to 17 countries with defending champions England, Canada and Mauritius boasting of strong teams.

India, featuring Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Vijender Singh (75kg) and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar, will be favourites at the event.

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