There’s a “very real possibility” that Pakistan will boycott this yr’s World Cup in India in the event that they lose internet hosting rights to the Asia Cup, the chairman of the nation’s cricket board Najam Sethi informed Reuters.
Bilateral cricket has been a casualty of the soured political relations between India and Pakistan over the past decade and the neighbouring nations now play one another solely in multi-team occasions in impartial venues.
India, citing security issues, have dominated out travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in September and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has supplied to allow them to play their matches within the United Arab Emirates in what has been dubbed a “hybrid model”.
Whereas the Board of Management for Cricket in India (BCCI) has but to ship a proper response to the supply, Sethi stated India needed your complete match moved out of Pakistan.
That might have critical ramifications for the 50-overs World Cup in India this yr in addition to the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan, he added.
“They want all the matches in a neutral venue,” he stated in a Zoom interview.
“BCCI ought to take a great, rational resolution in order that we don’t have any issues going ahead.
“India shouldn’t be taking a look at a state of affairs the place we find yourself boycotting the Asia Cup and likewise the World Cup, after which India finally ends up boycotting the Champions Trophy.
“That will be a huge mess.” Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have additionally come out towards enjoying within the UAE, citing the warmth and logistics points, heightening hypothesis in native media that the Asian Cricket Council might look to maneuver your complete match out of Pakistan.
Sethi stated that was “not acceptable” and reaffirmed that Pakistan might boycott the World Cup if that occurred.
“That’s a very real possibility, of course,” he added.
Ought to India conform to the hybrid mannequin for the Asia Cup, Sethi stated, Pakistan would anticipate reciprocal phrases for his or her group on the World Cup in October and November.
“We also have security concerns for our team in India,” he stated. “So let Pakistan play its matches in Dhaka or Mirpur, or UAE or in Sri Lanka.
“This is the solution going forward, until such time that India agrees to play Pakistan, in Pakistan and outside Pakistan, bilaterally.”
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah was not instantly obtainable for remark however neither the Indian board nor the Worldwide Cricket Council (ICC) have stated they’re even contemplating staging any World Cup matches outdoors India.
Sethi stated Pakistan, World Cup champions in 1992, was a prime cricketing nation which shouldn’t be ignored and that they must discuss to the ICC in regards to the Asia Cup downside.
“The ICC should step in but my sense is India would not like the ICC to step in, especially during the Asia Cup,” he stated.
The ICC was not instantly obtainable for remark.
Pakistan was starved of worldwide cricket after a 2009 assault on the Sri Lankan group bus in Lahore and needed to foyer laborious to persuade prime groups to renew touring the nation over the past couple of years.
“We worked so hard to bring international cricket back to Pakistan,” Sethi stated. “Each main nation has toured Pakistan in the previous few years. You title them, they’ve all been there. All of them appreciated the safety preparations.
That’s not an issue anymore.“
Citing the hype surrounding any assembly between India and Pakistan, Sethi blamed the BCCI’s “stubbornness” for failing to show it into the best rivalry in cricket.
“The India-Pakistan game is the biggest game in town. It’s bigger than Australia v England, it’s bigger than India v Australia. How can we jeopardise that by a stubbornness?” he stated.
“The Indian bridge team has been to Pakistan, the Indian kabaddi team has been to Pakistan, the Indian baseball team has been to Pakistan … “So what’s going on? Why can’t the Indian cricket team come to Pakistan?”