In a statement on Friday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja said Pakistan may consider withdrawing from Asia Cup 2023 if their tournament hosting rights are withdrawn due to the Indian team not traveling to Pakistan. BCCI secretary Jay Shah dismissed speculation that Team India would travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup earlier in October.
“It is not as if we don’t have hosting rights and we are pleading to host it,” Ramiz told ESPNCricinfo on the sidelines of the Pakistan-England Test. If India doesn’t come, they wouldn’t come. If the Asia Cup is taken from Pakistan, maybe we’re the ones who pull out,” he said.
Ramiz Raja had said earlier in November that if India opts out of the Asia Cup next year, Pakistan will not travel to India for the World Cup in 2023.
“Our position is blunt: If the Indian team comes, we’ll go to the World Cup; if they don’t, let them go. Let them play without Pakistan. Who will watch the World Cup next year if Pakistan does not participate? Ramiz told Pakistan media on Friday, “We’ll adopt an aggressive approach, our team is showing good performance, we have defeated the world’s largest cricket team, and we’ve reached the final of the T20 World Cup.”
“Pakistan cricket needs to improve its economy, and that can only happen when our team performs well, and we have achieved this in the 2021 T20 World Cup. “We beat India twice in one year, the Pakistan cricket team has beaten the board of billion dollar economies twice,” said the captain.
After Shah’s statement about holding Asia Cup at a neutral venue, PCB issued a statement saying, “Such statements are likely to split the Asian and international cricketing communities and can have a negative impact on Pakistan’s trip to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC events in India between 2024 and 31.”
Anurag Thakur, Union Sports Minister, said that India will host the 2023 World Cup with all teams participating.
According to the Sports Minister, India is not afraid of any threat and will not let it stop them from hosting the tournament.
“BCCI will handle the issue smartly since it is an internal matter. We have not done anything wrong while hosting international tournaments before. It has been a success for us to host World Cups, and all teams have participated well,” Thakur said in October. “All teams will play in the tournament next year,” Thakur said.
As far as touring Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023 is concerned, BCCI president Roger Binny said, “That is not our decision.” If we leave the country, or if another country comes here, we need government clearance. We cannot make that decision on our own, we must rely on the government,” Binny had said.
As a follow-up to Jay Shah’s comments regarding India’s travel to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said that the Men in Blue would focus on the T20 World Cup.
During a press conference ahead of the high-voltage match against Pakistan, Rohit had said, “My focus is on the World Cup. Whatever the BCCI decides, we will follow it.”
India will host the marquee cricketing event for the first time ever in 2023. With Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it co-hosted the 1987 and 1996 World Cups. In 2011, India co-hosted the tournament with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In the 2011 edition of the tournament, India also won.
Pakistan will also host flagship tournaments in 2023 and 2025, including the Asia Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy.
In 2009, a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team forced cricket teams to stop touring Pakistan. International tours resumed in the country only in 2015. In the past few years, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Australia, and England have toured Pakistan for bilateral series.
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