Asian Cup 2023 | If Team India does not come to Pakistan, we will not go to India to play the World Cup, threatens PCB chief

New Delhi. Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi on Friday categorically said that the Pakistan team will go to India to play the ODI World Cup only when the Indian team crosses the border to play the upcoming Asia Cup and 2025 Champions Trophy. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) recently rejected the ‘hybrid model’. Sethi believes that until India and Pakistan start playing in each other’s country, this seems to be the only option. Excerpts from Sethi’s exclusive interview with PTI: Q: What is the status of the Asia Cup and what was ACC’s reaction 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 as per 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. Q: Does it make sense for Pakistan to stay in ACC if they don’t play Asia Cup? Answer: ACC has to think about it. 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 is 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. There will be problem even if we don’t go to play India and there will be problem if Indian team doesn’t come to play Champions Trophy in Pakistan. 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. Also read Answer: Imran Khan’s protest has been going on for six months. The New Zealand national team played in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi where the demonstrations were ongoing. 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 circumstances are 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. 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. Even if Pakistan does not play in India, there will be problem. The real problem is the refusal of the Indian team to come to Pakistan. Either we don’t play 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. (agency)

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