New Delhi: Pakistan and Dubai will jointly host the fifth Cricket World Cup for the blind early next year from January 07 to 21. Apart from Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa are the other participating nations. However, India’s participation in the tournament comes under doubt, given the political tension between the two neighbours.

It now depends on the Government of India whether it permits the team for the World Cup. The team is supposed to leave for Pakistan on January 05 for the event after undergoing a month-long training in Bangalore. Chances are India’s matches might take place in Dubai only. However, ether is no official word on it.

“We’ve applied for government permission to go to Pakistan. We’ll go there only if we get it. We’ve written to the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council that we’re not sure of getting permission from our government. We’ve clearly told them that if we can’t come to Pakistan, you’ll have to shift our matches to Dubai. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll be left with no option but to miss the tournament,” Mahantesh GK, president of the Cricket Association for the Blind in India and World Blind Cricket Ltd was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

“The organisers though have already planned an alternative venue in Dubai because Australia too have refused to play in Pakistan. In the past too, the government has given permission in 2011 and 2013 to play in Pakistan. But the present situation doesn’t look too good,” he added.

On Monday, the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) announced the 17-member team for the World Cup

India Squad: Md. Jafar Iqbal (B1 category), Nareshbhai Tumda (B1), Mahender Vaishnav (B1), Sonu Golkar (B1), Prem Kumar B1), Basappa Vadgol (B1), Ajay Kumar Reddy (B2), D. Venkateswara Rao (B2), Ganeshbhai Muhudkar (B2), Surajit Ghara (B2), Anilbhai Gariya (B2), Prakash Jayaramaiah (B3), Deepak Malik (B3), Sunil Ramesh (B3), T. Durga Rao (B3), Pankaj Bhue (B3), Rambir (B3).

(With agencies inputs)