Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi has urged BCCI to take a “rational decision” to solve the crisis looming over his country’s hosting of the 2023 Asia Cup, saying the situation should not lead to Pakistan boycotting the World Cup to be hosted by India. India has ruled out traveling to Pakistan. Sethi said Pakistan is placed high in the ODI rankings and cannot be “ignored”. According to Sky Sports, a ‘hybrid’ model was proposed by the PCB where both teams play their matches in the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan is due to hold both the 2023 Asia Cup and the 2023 Champions Trophy. “BCCI should take a good, rational decision so that we don’t have any problems going forward. I’m not worried about the Asia Cup, it’s the World Cup, and India should not be looking at a situation where we end up boycotting the Asia Cup and also the World Cup and then India ends up boycotting the Champions Trophy – there’ll be a huge mess,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi said, as quoted by Reuters.
“And so we (Pakistan) are right at the top (ODI rankings). So the thing is, how can you ignore our team and our country? So the ICC should step in. But my sense is that India would not like the ICC to step in,” he added.
India versus Pakistan is one of the biggest rivalries in the history of cricket. India last visited Pakistan for the 50-over Asia Cup in 2008. However, bilateral cricket series between the two nations has not taken place since the 2012–13 season.
Sethi said the India versus Pakistan cricket match is “bigger than Australia versus England”. He said some sports teams from India, including that for games for the visually impaired, have gone to Pakistan.
“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 jeopardize that by stubbornness? Without reason, without explanation, India not coming to Pakistan. The Indian bridge team has been to Pakistan, the Indian kabaddi team has been to Pakistan, and the Indian baseball team has been to Pakistan… So what’s going on? Why can’t the Indian cricket team come to Pakistan?” Sethi asked.
BCCI has not yet decided on PCB’s proposal regarding Asia Cup.
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