Pakistan threatened to boycott the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, which would be hosted in India later this year, if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not permit the Men in Blue to compete in the Asia Cup 2023, as per a source.
According to a source, the Men in Green want to play their WC matches in Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.
The World Cup 2023 is scheduled for this year’s October-November. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has not yet released the detailed schedule.
A PCB source told ANI, “Yes, we are thinking that we will not travel to India for World Cup matches if BCCI didn’t send their team to Pakistan for Asia Cup. We want Sri Lanka or Bangladesh to host our matches, we want to play there not in India.”
Sources claim that Pakistan will not come to India for World Cup, and they want their matches to be hosted by Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. A few days back, news came through a source that India will play their Asia Cup matches at a neutral venue and will not go to Pakistan. If India reaches the final with Pakistan, it will also participate at a neutral venue.
It was also reported earlier that the Pakistan team could play its ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 matches in Bangladesh instead of India, which is the original host of the tournament, ESPNCricinfo reported.
Discussions have taken place that could see Pakistan shifting their games to a neutral venue, and Bangladesh has been proposed as the venue due to its close proximity to India.
A hybrid model for this year’s Asia Cup is being looked at as a solution. Pakistan is the original host of the Asia Cup this year, but India is likely to play their matches at a neutral venue.
The concept emerged during a break at a board meeting in Dubai. India’s presence in Asia Cup and Pakistan’s participation in the 50-over World Cup coming later was on the agenda of members from the two Boards.
Though it has only been mentioned as an option and no formal discussions have taken place on the subject, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has pointed out that India not participating in Asia Cup has a potential impact on ICC Champions Trophy 2025, which will also be held in Pakistan.
The six-nation Asia Cup, which will be played in a 50-over format in the first part of September this year, has grouped India and Pakistan together with a qualifier. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are part of the other group.
Last October, Jay Shah caught the PCB off guard, who stated that the 2023 Asia Cup would be held in a “neutral” venue. Under the then chairman Ramiz Raja, the PCB promptly responded that Pakistan would withdraw from the competition if it was taken outside of the nation.
Last year, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chairperson Jay Shah stated that India would not travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup due to security reasons and the tournament would be played at some neutral venue, which is to be decided in the second round of the Executive Board meeting of ACC members.
(with inputs from ANI)