LAHORE: Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Management Committee Najam Sethi has asserted that his side will not play their 2023 World Cup matches in India if the latter does not allow their team to travel for the 2023 Asia Cup, ARY News reported on Friday.
Agreeing to move India’s games out of Pakistan by presenting a new ‘hybrid model’ for hosting Asia Cup, Najam Sethi this as a precedent for the 50-over World Cup in India later this year and the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
“If India now wants to have a neutral venue and accepts the hybrid model, then we’ll use the same hybrid model in the World Cup and Champions trophy 2025,” he said in an interview with Indian news channel.
Pakistan would be willing to play their World Cup games in Bangladesh or any other venue acceptable to India, he said, calling it “a model that goes forward and resolves this political logjam” between the two countries.
The PCB management committee chairman called on the Indian cricket body to “stand up” to New Delhi and insist on being allowed to travel to Pakistan as “it cannot cite security as an issue anymore”.
Giving details about the recent Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Bahrain over the hosting of the Asia Cup in October, Sethi said that no decision has been taken so far and the members’ reaction to the hybrid model is awaited, though he went on to add that if ACC insists on a one-host model, Pakistan would withdraw.
Sethi also added that he got along well with BCCI secretary Jay Shah, with whom he has had long conversations about India-Pakistan cricket. “I get along famously with Jay Shah, we have no real issues, we’ve had long sessions. The only problem is that he never gives me a reason for not playing in Pakistan,” he added.
The journalist-turned-cricket administrator said that the BCCI needs to convince the Indian government for the team to travel to Pakistan.
“We at PCB tend to go to our government and persuade them to allow us to go to India. But then the government gives us this political argument that looks like it needs to be reciprocal. Otherwise, you know, we’ll be criticised roundly by our critics in Pakistan,” he added.
ACC refutes reports of Asia Cup suspension
Earlier, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) refuted the media reports regarding the suspension of the Asia Cricket Cup 2023.
According to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) sources, the media reports regarding the suspension of Asia Cup 2023 are baseless. There is no truth in the news about organizing a five-nation tournament without Pakistan.
The ACC sources claimed that they have not proposed any idea to the members of the council regarding shifting the tournament to a neutral venue.
Pakistan will host the 50-over Asia Cup 2023 before the ICC Cricket World Cup in India, scheduled in October and November.
A total of 13 matches will be played across 13 days including the final. As per the format for the 2022 Asia Cup, the top two teams from each group advance to the Super 4s and the top two teams then contest the final.
Earlier in October, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President Jay Shah, who is also a BCCI secretary, said that India will not be travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup next year, according to a report by Indian media.
The development occurred on the day of the BCCI’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, where Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president Jay Shah suggested that the Asia Cup would have to be played at a neutral venue.