Pakistan Contemplates World Cup Boycott Amid Tensions with India

Pakistan Considers Boycotting:-The Strained Cricketing Relations and Implications for Future Tournaments

Najam Sethi, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board stated that if they lose hosting rights to the Asia Cup, it is their option to boycott this year’s cricket World Cup in India. The strained political relations between India and Pakistan over the past decade have resulted in limited bilateral cricket matches, with both teams playing each other only in multi-team events held in neutral venues.

India has cited safety concerns and declined to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup scheduled for September. In response, the PCB has proposed a “hybrid model” that would allow India to play their matches in the United Arab Emirates. However, Sethi mentioned that India is seeking to move the entire tournament out of Pakistan, which could have significant implications not only for the World Cup in India but also for the 2025 Champions Trophy scheduled to be held in Pakistan.

Pakistan Considers Boycotting

In order to avoid a scenario where Pakistan boycotts both the Asia Cup and the World Cup, leading to a possible Indian boycott of the ICC Champions Trophy, Sethi stressed the need for a rational decision by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have also expressed their reluctance to play in the UAE due to concerns about the weather and logistics. This has led to speculation that the Asian Cricket Council might consider relocating the entire tournament away from Pakistan. Sethi stated that this proposition is “not acceptable” and reiterated the possibility of Pakistan Considers Boycotting the World Cup if such a move occurs.

Sethi proposed a reciprocal arrangement where Pakistan would expect similar terms for their team’s participation in the World Cup, highlighting their own security concerns when playing in India. He suggested alternative venues such as Dhaka, Mirpur, the UAE, or Sri Lanka for Pakistan’s matches. Sethi stressed the need for bilateral matches between India and Pakistan, both in and outside Pakistan, until a resolution is reached.

No official comments were available from BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, the Indian board, or the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding the possibility of staging World Cup matches outside India. Sethi expressed that the ICC should intervene, but speculated that India may not welcome ICC involvement during the Asia Cup.

Pakistan faced a lack of international cricket after the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore and had to work hard to convince major teams to resume tours in recent years. Sethi highlighted the successful efforts in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan, with major teams appreciating the security arrangements.

Sethi blamed the BCCI’s “stubbornness” for hindering the development of the India-Pakistan rivalry into the greatest in cricket. He underscored the significance of the India-Pakistan encounter and expressed concern over jeopardizing it due to stubbornness.

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