ICC holds talks with India to resolve Pakistan visa ‘guarantee’ for T20 World Cup

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Cricket’s world governing body has held encouraging talks with India’s cricket board (BCCI) over visa and tax arrangements as the country prepares to host the Twenty20 World Cup in October, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani has asked the ICC to guarantee visas for its players and support staff ahead of the tournament, as relations between the two neighbours have been frosty.

India and Pakistan have not hosted a cricket series between the two countries since 2013 due to political tensions.

The ICC has also held talks with the BCCI over securing tax exemptions for the tournament from the Indian government.

“The Board received an update on the ongoing preparations around the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India,” the ICC said in a statement.

“This included an update from the BCCI on positive discussions with the Indian government around tax arrangements and visa guarantees.

“It is anticipated that both issues will be resolved over the next month.”

The ICC cricket committee, led by former India captain Anil Kumble, also decided to continue with the umpire’s call in the Decision Review System (DRS), despite the protocol facing heavy criticism from former and current players in recent months.

The ICC, however, said it had tweaked the DRS protocols for leg-before reviews to ensure “the same umpire’s call margin around the stumps for both height and width.

“The cricket committee had an excellent discussion around umpire’s call and analysed its use extensively,” Kumble said.

“The principle underpinning DRS was to correct clear errors in the game whilst ensuring the role of the umpire as the decision-maker on the field of play was preserved, bearing in mind the element of prediction involved with the technology.

“Umpire’s call allows that to happen, which is why it is important it remains.”