Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi will seek a “written guarantee” from BCCI supremo Jay Shah about Indian team’s participation in 2025 ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan before committing on their national team playing its ODI World Cup games in India, later this year.
The 2023 World Cup will be played from October 5 and BCCI have zeroed in on Ahmedabad (for India game), Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata as possible venues for Babar Azam’s side.
However, with ACC under chairmanship of Jay Shah not confirming the proposed ‘Hybrid Model’ for the upcoming Asia Cup, where India played its matches in UAE and Pakistan play their games in their home country, Sethi apparently has been advised to play the hardball.
According to a reliable source, Sethi is scheduled to leave for Dubai on 8th May where he will hold meetings with ACC and International Cricket Council officials.
The source in PCB said that during his Dubai visit, Sethi is also expected to start lobbying to garner support for Pakistan’s “principled stance that it will not play its World Cup matches in India unless the BCCI and ICC give written guarantees India will come to Pakistan to play in the 2025 Champions Trophy.”
“Sethi has recently met with some government officials and also obtained advice from them on whether Pakistan should play in the Asia Cup if it is not held in Lahore and Dubai as proposed by the PCB under its hybrid model plan to the ACC,” the source said.
He added that Sethi has got tacit approval from the government quarters to convey a strong and blunt stance to the ACC members about hosting the Asia Cup in September.
“Sethi is expected to make it very clear to the ACC members that either they accept Pakistan’s hybrid proposal or the PCB will not take part in the competition this year if it is moved from Pakistan.”
The PCB chairman is unwilling to accept more delays on scheduling of Asia Cup.
“Apparently, Sethi has now realized that it is time for some hard decisions and is not willing to accept any more delays from the ACC on finalization of venues and schedule for the Asia Cup.”
“Sethi is clear now no Asia Cup matches in Pakistan, no Pakistan team in Asia Cup,” the source claimed.