ICC gave a blow to Pakistan
PCB’s every request was rejected
New Delhi. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected all the objections raised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on the team’s schedule and venues for the ODI World Cup to be played in India. In the World Cup schedule released by the ICC and BCCI on Tuesday, Pakistan’s match against India is scheduled in Ahmedabad as proposed in the earlier draft. In this, PCB’s request to change the venue for matches against Afghanistan and Australia has been ignored. The PCB had asked the ICC and the BCCI to reschedule their match against Afghanistan from Chennai to Bengaluru and the match against Australia from Bengaluru to Chennai. The Pakistan team management was concerned that the pitch at Chepauk (Chennai) favors spinners and thus the team would be at a disadvantage against Afghanistan, who have excellent spin bowlers.
The ICC, however, did not heed any of Pakistan’s objections or requests and even fixed the semi-final matches in Mumbai and Kolkata. The PCB had told the ICC that it was not comfortable playing in Mumbai due to political and diplomatic reasons. The ICC not considering Pakistan’s request was expected in advance as it normally only considers a change of venues based on a potential security threat. The election for the post of PCB chairman has been postponed till July 17. In such a situation, it remains to be seen how the board reacts to the announcement of the World Cup schedule. An official source in the board made it clear that the program will be sent to the government for approval. “Our participation in the World Cup and whether we qualify for Ahmedabad or the semi-finals on October 15 will depend on the government’s approval to play in Mumbai,” he said.
He said that till now the government has not issued any NOC (No Objection Certificate) to PCB to travel to India. This is a sensitive issue so the board can proceed only after getting clear instructions from its government. He reminded, “We have already informed the ICC that any issue with our participation in the tournament or at the venues is related to getting clearance from the government to travel to India.”
Pakistan last played in the 2016 T20 World Cup in India. A stay order was issued by the Balochistan High Court on Monday on petitions filed by two former members of PCB’s Cricket Management Committee against the election to the post of chairman. After this, there is confusion in Pakistan cricket as to how it should react to the World Cup schedule. At present, the board is being run by the interim president Ahmed Shahzad Farooq Rana. President nominee Zaka Ashraf will have to win the votes of the ‘Board of Governors’ to officially take over.
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 27, 2023, 15:37 IST