In a twist to the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup, scheduled to be held in India in October, Pakistan’s participation remains uncertain as the decision lies in the hands of the Pakistani government rather than the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The suspense deepened as PCB Chair Najam Sethi, in a recent press conference, stated that Pakistan’s involvement in the tournament would be confirmed only after receiving approval from the government.
With just four months left until the ICC mega event, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has yet to release the schedule. Najam Sethi, Chairman of the Management Committee of the PCB, added another layer of complexity to the situation with his latest remarks.
When questioned about Pakistan’s participation, Sethi made it clear that the decision was not within the board’s control. He emphasized that the team would only travel to India with the government’s consent. Additionally, the venues for the matches would also require approval from the Pakistani government. Sethi outlined these conditions in the PCB’s response to the ICC regarding the World Cup draft schedule.
“We have communicated to the ICC that we cannot give approval or disapproval for traveling to India. This decision is made by our government, just as it is for India. Whether we will play in Ahmedabad or not is something to be decided later. When the time comes, the decision will be made on whether we will go or not. And then the government will inform us about the venues where we can play and where we cannot. We have informed the ICC that subject to these conditions, we can provide updates on whether we will play, where we will play, and when,” Sethi explained.
Sethi also recalled Pakistan’s participation in the 2016 T20 World Cup held in India, highlighting that the team traveled to the neighboring country only after receiving approval from then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He emphasized that it was premature to discuss the matter at present and that the decision would be made after consultations with the Pakistani government.
“We all remember what happened in 2016. India was not coming here, but we went to India. We had discussions regarding whether to go or not. After those discussions, we spoke to Nawaz Sharif, who was the Prime Minister at the time, and he gave us the green light to go.
It’s too early to discuss anything. We are not sure which government will be in power at the time. But when the right time comes, and there is a stable government, we will approach them. We have informed the ICC that if our government, considering the security conditions, grants approval, then we will participate. However, if they don’t, how can we go?” Sethi further elaborated.