Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee chairman, Najam Sethi, has said that the Men in Green won’t travel to India for World Cup 2023, if BCCI doesn’t send its team to Pakistan for 2023 Asia Cup.
The Asia Cup is scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September this year, but India has declined to travel to Pakistan for the event due to political tensions between the two nations.
To resolve the issue, Pakistan proposed a hybrid model during an Asian Cricket Council meeting earlier this year, under which all teams would play in Pakistan except for India, who would play their matches at a neutral venue. However, India has also rejected this proposal and is now pushing for the entire tournament to take place at a neutral location.
Sethi, in an interview with an Indian media outlet on Thursday, said that Pakistan government won’t allow PCB to send its team to India for the ICC World Cup 2023 later this year and they will also have to play their matches at a neutral venue, like the hybrid model proposed for Asia Cup.
According to Sethi, if India demands to play their Asia Cup matches at a neutral venue, a similar arrangement could be made for Pakistan for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
“Our government will not allow us to play World Cup in India because their government stopped BCCI to tour Pakistan for Asia Cup,” Sethi said.
Sethi recently travelled to the UAE for important meetings in this regard with officials of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Emirates Cricket Board. According to sources, on Tuesday, Sethi had a meeting with ACC Vice President, Pankaj Khimji, where he presented further details about the hybrid model.
During the meeting, Sethi presented the proposed schedule and alterations to the hybrid model, in an attempt to save the Asia Cup.
According to the proposed schedule, four matches will take place in Pakistan, whereas the remaining seven matches and the final will be held in UAE.
All four teams except India – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal will come to Pakistan once to play their matches, and then all four teams along with the Men in Green will travel to Dubai via chartered flights for the remaining games.
“Hybrid model is a compromise but we are ready for it. We have offered to host Asia Cup in two phases, four matches of the group stage will be played in Pakistan. After that, we all will go to a neutral venue to play the rest of the matches including the final,” Sethi said.
“If the hybrid model is accepted for Asia Cup, then this will apply to World Cup too. We will play our matches during World Cup in Bangladesh or somewhere else. Also, Champions Trophy 2025 will adopt the same model. It will make things simple for everyone. Meanwhile, if at any stage India agrees to come to Pakistan, then we will also go to play World Cup there,” he added.