UAE wants ICC trophy matches replayed

Abdul Wahab and Mairaj Khaliq, both Pakistan expatriates, were refused entry visas for the competition held in Toronto in June and July. The tournament served as the qualifying rounds for the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
The UAE failed to reach the World Cup after finishing fifth. The Netherlands, who won the tournament, Namibia and Canada all qualified.
But UAE cricket board administrator Mazhar Khan told Reuters on Monday the board had written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) demanding that the matches be replayed because the visa refusals created an “uneven playing field” and went against the spirit of the game.
“During the associate members’ meeting and the annual conference in London on June 19, the visa matter was raised by West Africa, Nepal, Uganda and the UAE,” Khan said.
“An assurance was given by the Canadian Cricket Association and the ICC Trophy event manager that visas for all players would be sorted out.
“This was not done and the host nation reneged on the promise …to ensure a smooth culmination of the event.”
He said ICC president Malcolm Gray had been made aware of the problem when he visited the Emirates on June 12 and 13.
ICC chief executive David Richards had also been made aware of the problems, he said.
Khan said that all of the UAE’s matches, as well as those of Nepal, West Africa, and Uganda who faced similar problems, should be replayed.
“The pain and mental stress the players and the management went through to get the visas sorted out for over four weeks should be taken up seriously by the ICC,” Khan said.