File photo of India-Pakistan encounter© AFP
Pakistan Cricket Board’s chairman Najam Sethi on Friday cast fresh doubts over their participation in the ODI World Cup in India, saying it is “subject to government approval”, putting the ICC in a bind before the schedule for the mega event is finalised. Sethi’s comments came after every stakeholder, including Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief Jay Shah, agreed to organise the upcoming Asia Cup in a hybrid model, as proposed by the PCB chief. “As far as India and Pakistan go, neither the PCB or the BCCI can take decisions. The respective governments only can take decisions,” Sethi said during a press conference.
“It’s our government who has to decide, just like when it comes to India, it’s their government that decides when they go to play. There is no point asking us if we will play in Ahmedabad.
“When the time comes, first it will be decided whether we are going or not, then the government decides where we will go. Our decision will rest on these two important conditions,” he added.
The hybrid model was proposed as the Indian cricket board (BCCI) had made it clear that it won’t send its team to Pakistan due to the longstanding geo-political tensions between the two countries.
The approval of the Asia Cup’s schedule also meant that Pakistan would travel to India for the ODI World Cup in October-November. The arch-rivals are expected to face off at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on October 15.
It is understood that once ICC CEO Geoff Allardice and chairman Greg Barclay visited Karachi to meet Sethi last month, it was decided that Pakistan won’t set any conditions for competing in the World Cup, provided four Asia Cup games are held in the country as they have the hosting rights.
Sethi further said, “We have told the ICC also that if our government looks into the security considerations and gives us permission, we will come to play in India. If they don’t give, how can we come and play in India? “Even if the government gives us permission, we have to look at the venues and decide where to play. That comes later. Firstly, the government has to give us the nod. It has to tell us whether we can go or not.” The Asia Cup will be held from August 31 to September 17 with Pakistan and Sri Lanka hosting four and nine matches respectively.
Topics mentioned in this article