Pakistan cricket board chairman Najam Sethi has warned of a potential boycott of the upcoming World Cup in India if Pakistan loses the hosting rights for the Asia Cup, citing a “very real possibility.”
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Najam Sethi, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, has expressed concern that if Pakistan is not granted the hosting rights for the Asia Cup, there is a significant chance of them boycotting the upcoming World Cup in India.
The deteriorating political relations between India and Pakistan have severely impacted bilateral cricket over the past decade, leading to limited matches between the two nations, which now primarily occur during multi-team events held at neutral venues.
Pakistan’s hosting of the Asia Cup in September has been questioned by India, citing safety concerns, which has led to India ruling out visiting Pakistan for the tournament.
In response, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proposed a “hybrid model,” offering to hold the matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not yet formally responded to the offer.
PCB chairman Najam Sethi revealed in a Zoom interview with Reuters that India wants the entire tournament to be relocated to a neutral venue. He emphasized the need for the BCCI to make a rational decision to avoid any future complications.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Najam Sethi, has expressed concerns over the potential boycott of the Asia Cup and subsequent repercussions, including India boycotting the Champions Trophy.
Sethi emphasized the need for a resolution and proposed a “hybrid model” for the Asia Cup, with matches held in Dhaka, Mirpur, UAE, or Sri Lanka. He also highlighted security concerns for the Pakistan team in India.
Sethi called for reciprocal terms in the World Cup and urged India to play matches against Pakistan both within and outside Pakistan bilaterally.
The BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah, was unavailable for comment, and neither the BCCI nor the ICC have mentioned the possibility of staging World Cup matches outside India.
Sethi suggested involving the ICC in the discussion and emphasized Pakistan’s stature as a top cricketing nation. He speculated that India may not want ICC involvement, particularly during the Asia Cup.