Along with efforts to deprive Pakistan of hosting the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Asia Cup 2023, India wants to deny the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) the right to host the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 as well, Daily Jang reported Saturday, citing Indian media.
According to Indian reports, it will be “difficult” for the Indian team to visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2025.
A senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), according to Indian media, said: “We will now try to shift the hosting of the Champions Trophy outside Pakistan. The hosting of the Asia Cup is out of Pakistan’s hands.”
The news comes a few days after a delegation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) expressed “satisfaction” with Pakistan’s capability to host the ICC Champions Trophy 2025.
Moreover, during its visit, the ICC delegation hinted at playing a mediating role between the PCB and the BCCI in the ongoing controversy surrounding the venue of the Asia Cup that was scheduled to be held in Pakistan.
The delegation was present in Lahore to obtain assurances from the PCB regarding the Pakistani team’s involvement in the ICC Cricket World Cup scheduled for October-November.
The ICC wants PCB not to insist on the implementation of a hybrid model for their matches in the World Cup.
PCB chief Najam Sethi had stated that the Pakistan cricket team would refuse to travel to India if the Indian team did not visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup.
It must be noted that in October last year, Pakistani cricket authorities hinted they may pull out of next year’s World Cup in India, a day after officials there said they would not send a team to the 2023 Asia Cup in Pakistan.
Shah had said that India “can’t” send a team to Pakistan, adding the tournament would be moved to a neutral venue.
His announcement caught Pakistan by surprise, with officials warning it could “split” the international cricket community.
The PCB then suggested two hybrid models for accommodating India. However, the BCCI expressed concerns that if the PCB’s proposed hybrid model for the Asia Cup was accepted, the PCB might request the ICC to implement the same model for the ICC World Cup.
Sethi mentioned that if the Pakistani government did not approve the team’s visit to India, the PCB would request the ICC to hold the matches at a neutral venue.
Such a situation would be a significant setback for both the ICC and the BCCI, as an India-Pakistan match held in India attracts a packed stadium and is economically successful for the Indian board and the ICC alike.
In contrast, holding the match in any other country would not attract a large crowd, which is the primary reason why BCCI Secretary Jay Shah was hesitant to accept the hybrid model for the Asia Cup.
The PCB chief also stated that if the Asia Cup was relocated from Pakistan to a neutral country, the Pakistani team would not participate.
However, reports indicate that despite the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) endorsing the hybrid model, the BCCI still shows reluctance, which could result in the Asia Cup being taken away from Pakistan.
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