The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry has once again taken center stage as the two neighboring nations are at odds over the upcoming cricket events. In February, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that the Pakistan national cricket team would not travel to India for the ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in October and November if the Indian cricket team does not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in September. The decision was taken during a board meeting of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Saturday.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials remain unperturbed by the PCB’s stance and argue that this is a matter for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to look into, since India is the only host nation for the ODI World Cup. Meanwhile, the PCB has issued a statement regarding the security situation in Pakistan as a cricket host, pointing out that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have recently toured the country and that Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have confirmed their tours to Pakistan in the 2023-2027 Future Tours Programme (FTP) that has been agreed upon by all ICC members.
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The India-Pakistan stand-off over the cricket events will be taken up when the ACC reconvenes in Dubai in March, a day before the ICC’s quarterly board meeting. While the ACC issued a statement indicating a “constructive dialogue” on the Asia Cup, there was no agreement on the proposal to relocate the tournament to a neutral venue.
In response to this proposal, a PCB official stated that if the Asia Cup is to be relocated, even Pakistan’s matches during the ODI World Cup in India should be moved to neutral venues, as both are multi-nation events. However, the BCCI remains hopeful that the ODI World Cup will not be moved to a neutral base, while acknowledging that the decision ultimately lies with the Indian government. The BCCI also emphasized that when the hosting rights for the Asia Cup were awarded to Pakistan, both cricket boards were aware that any trip to the other nation would require a government nod.
The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry continues to simmer, with the two nations at odds over the upcoming cricket events. It remains to be seen how the situation will resolve itself, but one thing is certain – the cricket world will be watching closely.