PCB Chairman Warns of Boycotting World Cup if Pakistan Stopped from Hosting Asia Cup - Capital TV

May 29, 2023


PCB Chairman Warns of Boycotting World Cup if Pakistan Stopped from Hosting Asia Cup

Mahnoor Tariq

PCB World Cup

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has warned that there is a “very real possibility” that Pakistan may boycott this year’s World Cup in India if they lose hosting rights to the Asia Cup.

Bilateral cricket between the two countries has been affected by souring political relations between India and Pakistan. The two nations now play each other only in multi-team events in neutral venues. India has ruled out travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in September due to safety concerns, and the PCB has offered to let India play their matches in the United Arab Emirates in a “hybrid model.” However, India wants the entire tournament moved out of Pakistan. PCB Chairman says this could have serious ramifications for the 50-overs World Cup in India this year, as well as the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to deliver a formal response to the PCB’s offer. Sethi said India should take a good, rational decision so that they don’t have any problems going forward. He also warned that a situation where Pakistan ends up boycotting the Asia Cup and the World Cup, and then India ends up boycotting the Champions Trophy, would be a huge mess.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have also opposed playing in the UAE, citing the heat and logistics issues. There is a speculation in local media that the Asian Cricket Council may look to move the entire tournament out of Pakistan, but Sethi said that was “not acceptable,” and reaffirmed that Pakistan may boycott the World Cup if that happened.

Sethi also said that if India agrees to the hybrid model for the Asia Cup, Pakistan would expect reciprocal terms for their team at the World Cup in October and November. He cited security concerns for Pakistan’s team in India and suggested that Pakistan could play their matches in Dhaka or Mirpur, or in the UAE or Sri Lanka. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah was not immediately available for comment. Neither the Indian board nor the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said they are considering staging any World Cup matches outside India. The situation remains uncertain, and it is unclear what steps the BCCI or ICC will take to address the issue.

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