KATHMANDU, April 2: Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) is all set to raise the issue of visa problem players faced during the ACC Elite Trophy 2010 being held in Kuwait at the meeting of the Asian Cricket Council Development Committee.
CAN President Binay Raj Pandey told myrepublica.com that he would raise the issue at the meeting, which is likely to be held in May. “Very few senior level tournaments are held in the region. If ACC organizes these tournaments in countries like Kuwait, where getting visa is difficult, it will hamper the development of cricket,” said Pandey.
“Gyanendra Malla is one of the major cricketers in the country. As we are taking ACC Elite Trophy as our practice for World Cricket League Division 4, Gyanendra´s absence in Kuwait will hamper our preparation,” added Pandey.
Pandey informed that not only Malla but cricketers from other countries like Bahrain, Afghanistan and Hong Kong also faced visa problems this time. “In the Development Committee meeting, I´ll ask ACC to organize senior level and major tournaments in countries where players will not have to face visa problems,” said Pandey.
Pandey scoffed at the reasons given by Kuwait for not issuing Malla´s visa. According to ACC´s official website, Kuwait rejected Malla´s visa application as his name was wrongly spelt. “This would have been Gyanendra´s third visit to Kuwait. Giving such reasons for the third time has no meaning,” said Pandey. Malla is the vice-captain of the Nepali team.
Likewise, Hong Kong are also without their regular captain Najeeb Amar as he was stopped at the airport citing visa problem. Afghanistan´s vice-captain Muhammad Nabi also failed to reach Kuwait for similar reasons. Bahrain pulled out of the tournament as Kuwait rejected visa applications of a bunch of their players.
This is not the first time that CAN has faced visa problems in major tournaments. Assistant coach Manjoor Alam Khan and batsman Mehboob Alam acquired the visa at the last hour while they were to visit the UAE during the ACC T20 Cup, 2009. They got their visas when they were playing the last practice match in Delhi.
In 2006, Mehboob Alam was also barred by the UAE from playing in the ACC Premier League.
In 2001, Canada had rejected the visa application of captain Raju Khadka, Raj Kumar Pradhan, Kush Gurung and Birendra Shah, which deprived them of the opportunity to play the ICC Trophy.