ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan leg of the Cricket World Cup for the Blind gets under way with the opening match between the hosts and Bangladesh at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Monday (tomorrow).
Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have been grouped to play in Pakistan while Sri Lanka, Australia and India are scheduled to start the campaign on the same dates in Ajman (United Arab Emirates).
Pakistan will play their second match against Nepal in Gujranwala on Tuesday with Nepal and Bangladesh playing the last match of the Pakistan leg at Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on January 10.
The teams will then travel to Ajman where the rest of the tournament will be played.
The blind cricket teams of Nepal and Bangladesh have reached Lahore and attended the World Cup trophy’s unveiling ceremony.
The opening ceremony of the World Cup will be held at Al-Hamra Arts Council Auditorium in Lahore on Sunday (today).
AFP adds from New Delhi: The Indian team left for the United Arab Emirates on Saturday to take part in the Cricket World Cup for the Blind after failing to secure permission to play in Pakistan.
India had been due to play arch-rivals Pakistan, who they beat in the 2014 Blind World Cup final, in Faisalabad on Monday.
But instead Pakistan has arranged for India’s games to be played in Ajman and Sharjah in the UAE because of tense relations between the two countries.
The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) told AFP it had to make the last-minute schedule change because the Indian government did not respond to its request for permission to go to Pakistan.
“We are yet to receive any official communication from them. Till they write to us we are not allowed to go. So all our matches are shifted to Dubai (Ajman),” CABI President G K Mahantesh said.
“If we reach the final then it will be shifted from Lahore to Sharjah,” he said late Friday before leaving with the team.
Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) expressed disappointment over the Indian foreign ministry’s silence on the event.
Pakistan’s blind cricket team travelled to India for last year’s inaugural Twenty20 World Cup that was won by the host nation. India won the 50-over World Cup for the Blind in 2014 in Cape Town, beating Pakistan in the final.