Pakistan has the right to host Asia Cup 2023, Champions Trophy 2025.
At the same time, India has to host the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 in October-November.
New Delhi. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi has categorically said on Friday that the Pakistani team will go to India to play the ODI World Cup only when the Indian team will cross the border to play the upcoming Asia Cup and 2025 Champions Trophy. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) recently rejected the ‘hybrid model’. In such a situation, Najam Sethi believes that until India and Pakistan start playing in each other’s country, this is the only option.
Q: What is the status of Asia Cup and what was the reaction of ACC to your proposed hybrid model?
Answer : In the current situation, we have made it clear that four matches should be played in Pakistan and the remaining matches can be played at a neutral venue. The Asian Cricket Council can take two decisions. Either he agrees and prepares the schedule according to my proposal or says that all the matches will be played at a neutral venue. Everything will be solved if you take the first option. If we choose the second option, we will not play the Asia Cup. We are waiting for the reply of Jai Shah and others.
Question: Does it make sense for Pakistan to stay in the ACC if they don’t play the Asia Cup?
Answer : ACC has to think about this. The next president of ACC will be from PCB. Now it’s our turn. We want to remain in ACC or rather we can say that ACC cannot happen without Pakistan. ACC gets maximum revenue from India and Pakistan only. If Pakistan does not play in the Asia Cup, then the broadcaster Star Network may face problems. That’s why both India and Pakistan are important for Asia Cup and ACC. That’s why I proposed the hybrid model. We even said that let only four matches be held in Pakistan and the remaining matches should be played at a neutral venue. We have solved not only one issue but also the World Cup and Champions Trophy. If we do not go to play India then there will be problem and if Indian team does not come to Pakistan to play Champions Trophy then also there will be problem.
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Q: The Indian team is not going to Pakistan due to political tension, but after the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, do you think other teams will come there in the current security situation?
Answer : Imran Khan’s performance has been going on for six months. New Zealand national team played in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi. where the demonstrations were going on. This is not an issue. These teams were given VVIP security. Even if there is a problem in Islamabad, it can be played in Pindi, Multan, Lahore and Karachi. Asia Cup will be in September and do you think Pakistan will be burning at that time and we will not be able to play cricket. If the situation is like this, then I myself would say that the match should be held at a neutral venue. We also do not want our honorable guest to face riots after coming to Pakistan. We care about them.
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Question: If the ACC agrees to the hybrid model of four matches, will Pakistan play the World Cup in India on the hybrid model?
Answer : The issue at the moment is the Asia Cup. I want the hybrid model to be adopted and successful. If the Indian team does not come to play the Champions Trophy then we will have a problem. If Pakistan does not play in India then there will be problem. The real problem is the refusal of the Indian team to come to Pakistan. Either we don’t play with each other at all or find a middle ground. India and Pakistan do not play each other in each other’s country in all tournaments. No big deal. Despite this, the game can happen.
Q: Why can’t Ahmedabad be a venue for the India vs Pakistan match, as Pakistan played at the same venue in 2005?
Answer: I never said that. All I have said is that nobody from BCCI has asked us anything about Ahmedabad. You are asking me whether we will play in Ahmedabad or not, but I am telling you, the real question is whether we will play in India or not? If India plays in Pakistan, we will play in India. But if India doesn’t play in Pakistan then why should we play in India? So my solution is, India vs Pakistan matches should be played at a neutral venue. That is all. We come to Ahmedabad, if India comes to Pakistan. We will provide VVIP security at every venue and I dare say we go to India on mutual terms, if India asks us to play in Ahmedabad in return, we will have no problem. We will play wherever we play, we expect that they will provide us security, just like India wants us to provide security at any place if India has to play in Pakistan. So Ahmedabad is clearly not an issue. Let’s first take a pledge to play India and Pakistan in each other’s country.
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Tags: asia cup, BCCI, India Vs Pakistan, ODI World Cup, PCB, PCB Chairman
FIRST PUBLISHED : May 13, 2023, 07:00 IST