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World Cup – India vs Pakistan – PCB files complaint with ICC over ‘inappropriate conduct by spectators’

The PCB has also “lodged another formal protest” over delays in visas for Pakistani journalists and absence of a visa policy for Pakistan fans

ESPNcricinfo staff

Indian fans gathered in big numbers for the India vs Pakistan game AFP/Getty Images

The PCB has lodged an official complaint with the ICC about the crowd behaviour directed towards the Pakistan players in their game against India at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium over the weekend.

Pakistan were comfortably beaten by India in an atmosphere their team director Mickey Arthur later compared to a bilateral game and not an ICC event. The crowd, estimated to be over 100,000, contained only a handful of Pakistan fans, with the difficulties of getting visas preventing fans from traveling across the border. Arthur also queried the lack of Pakistani music on the stadium playlist, specifically mentioning Dil, Dil Pakistana stadium staple at Pakistan games at ICC events.

The PCB’s complaints, however, are around more specific incidents that emerged from videos circulating on social media. ESPNcricinfo has learnt that the most prominent one is of fans pointedly chanting at Mohammad Rizwan as he walked up the stairs and back to the dressing room after being dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah. The PCB has also cited incidents of Hasan Ali being taunted by similar chants while he was fielding during India’s chase.

The complaint, sent today to the ICC management, has referred to section 11 of the ICC’s anti-discrimination policy for international cricket. The section deals with enforcement against spectators: “The ICC and each of its Members should take such steps as it considers necessary to prevent the occurrence at International Matches played within its jurisdiction or those played as part of an ICC Event (as applicable) of Inappropriate Conduct by spectators and to ensure that any such conduct is dealt with in a timely manner by the Member or ICC (as applicable) or others before, during and/or after the International Match (as may be appropriate).”

Any such incident is, according to the policy, meant to be logged by an anti-discrimination administrator (appointed by the host board) in a form and filed to the ICC’s representative on anti-discrimination department within two weeks.

In the same complaint, the PCB once again raised the matter of visas not being granted to Pakistani fans and to only a limited number of journalists so far.

“Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has lodged another formal protest with ICC over delays in visas for Pakistani journalists and absence of a visa policy for Pakistan fans for the ongoing World Cup 2023,” the PCB said in a statement.

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