Do Pakistanis watch cricket for the game?

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) doesn’t believe a cricket match can be enjoyed or found interesting unless spectators have their own country playing. Or so it would seem considering the Pakistani national squad along with visiting journalists had to leave India since their visas were tied to the team’s World Cup performance. The conditional visas granted were reportedly restricted to 48 hours from the end of the Pakistani team’s World Cup campaign – which came on Saturday after Babar Azam‘s side lost to England at Eden Gardens. In other words, if any of the players or journalists wanted to watch any other game after Monday, he would have to do that in front of a screen from outside Indian territory.

The reasoning behind the visa stipulation seems to be: why on earth would anyone want to follow cricket for the sake of the sport? If you don’t have your country to cheer, you shouldn’t be watching it, at least not from the stands. But, obviously, this isn’t about MEA seeing a tournament only through a nationality angle. It’s Pakistan. No Pakistan passport-holding fan has, reportedly, been given a visa to come over to India to watch any World Cup game. The only way in is if you’re a non-Pakistani passport-holding Pakistani. So, London mayor Sadiq Khan could have joined his countryman Mick Jagger on Saturday to watch the Pakistan-England game.


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