A major showdown is in the offing as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja has warned the BCCI that the Pakistan cricket team won't travel to India if the Men in Blue pull out of Asia Cup. Pakistan is scheduled to host the 2023 Asia Cup. Board of Control for Cricket in India's secretary Jay Shah has already confirmed that Team India won't be touring Pakistan.
Ramiz Raja has put his foot down and said that India can play World Cup without Pakistan if they don't participate in the tournament that Sri Lanka won in September. “If Pakistan doesn't take part in the World Cup scheduled in India next year, who will watch it? We have a clear stand: If the Indian team comes here then we will go for the World Cup. If they don't come then they can play the World Cup without us," Raja told Urdu News.
"We will adopt an aggressive approach. Our team is showing performance. I've always said we need to improve the economy of Pakistan cricket, and that can only happen when we perform well. In the 2021 T20 World Cup, we beat India. We beat India in the T20 Asia Cup. In one year, the Pakistan cricket team defeated a billion-dollar economy team twice."
Shah, who also heads the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), said last month that India would not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, and that the tournament itself would be shifted to a neutral venue.
The next 50-over World Cup is scheduled to be played in India. Flagship tournaments are supposed to be held in Pakistan as the country is scheduled to host the forthcoming edition of the Asia Cup in 2023 followed by the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy.
BCCI president Roger Binny said earlier this month that the decision on Team India travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023 is not in BCCI's hands and the government takes a decision.
As for Asia Cup, the past 2 editions of the tournament were played in UAE and it looks set to be moved out of Pakistan. In 2018, the BCCI had the hosting rights but couldn't host it. In 2022, Sri Lanka had the hosting rights but the tournament was once again played in UAE.
The Men in Green lasted played in India during the 2016 T20 World Cup. Owing to the soured political relations, bilateral cricket remains suspended between India and Pakistan who play each other only in multi-team tournaments.
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