IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Zimbabwe struggle to obtain visas


Zimbabwe are struggling to get visas ahead of the quadrangular Twenty20 tournament in Toronto and the organisers may have to call in a replacement team.

Zimbabwe sources told PTI that the Canadian embassy in Harare has yet to issue the paperwork and the squad is due to depart on Wednesday. “Apparently it is the usual issue of western governments having problems with the government in Zimbabwe and not wanting to encourage any sporting ties with the African nation,” a source said.

The situation was clouded by claims from the tournament organisers that the necessary paperwork was in place. “Visas were issued to the Zimbabwe team on October 3 and we were immediately informed by their cricket operation manager,” Hasan Jalil, the COO of Sports International Marketing, told Cricinfo. “The team is flying to Toronto on BA93 and arriving on October 8.”

Cricinfo has been unable to verify those details as Zimbabwe Cricket refuses to answer any media queries from us.

If Zimbabwe are forced to pull out it will be the second time this year when they haven’t been able to take their place at a tournament. In May the Under-15 side had to withdraw from an event in West Indies after being unable to gain transit visas for the UK.

At the time Zimbabwe Cricket claimed they had been refused the visas, but it transpired they hadn’t left enough time for the paperwork. Bermuda appear the likely favourites to replace Zimbabwe if the visas aren’t issued in time.

The tournament has been blighted by problems and has already been postponed once before last August, while Zimbabwe were already a replacement team for West Indies.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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