Pakistan May Not Participate In World Cup If They Don’t Host Asia Cup

In the event that Pakistan loses the privilege of organising the Asia Cup, there is a serious likelihood that they will skip this year's World Cup.

Suppose Pakistan loses the privilege of being the host of the Asia Cup. In that case, there is a “genuine possibility” that they may skip the World Cup that will take place in India, according to Najam Sethi, the president of Pakistan’s cricket board.

The deteriorating political ties between India and Pakistan during the past ten years have made bilateral cricket a casualty, and the two neighbours now only face each other in multi-team tournaments held in neutral locations.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is willing to allow India to participate in the games in the United Arab Emirates in what was labelled a “hybrid model” as they have decided against visiting Pakistan for the Asia Cup in September due to security issues.

Sethi stated that India intended the entire event shifted out of Pakistan, though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has failed to respond formally to the proposal.

The 50-over World Cup in India coming up and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan in 2025 may both suffer as a result, he continued.

He stated in a Zoom interview that “they want all matches in a neutral venue.”

“BCCI should take a good, rational decision so that we don’t have any problems going forward.”

“India should not be looking at a situation where we end up boycotting the Asia Cup and also the World Cup, and then India ends up boycotting the Champions Trophy.

“That’s going to be a big mess.” The Asian Cricket Council may try to transfer the entire competition out of Pakistan, according to local media conjecture. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have also expressed their opposition to competing in the UAE, blaming the heat and logistical problems.

Sethi deemed such “not acceptable” and reiterated Pakistan’s threat to leave the World Cup in the event of such behaviour.

“That’s a very real possibility, of course,” he continued.

Sethi stated that Pakistan will want similar conditions for its squad at the World Cup in October and November if India agreed to the hybrid approach for the Asia Cup.

“We also have security concerns for our team in India,” he added. Let Pakistan conduct its games in Dhaka, Mirpur, the UAE, or Sri Lanka, then.

“Until India agrees to play Pakistan bilaterally, both inside and outside of Pakistan, this is the solution moving forward.”

Although neither the Indian Cricket Board nor the International Cricket Council (ICC) have indicated that they are even considering holding World Cup matches outside of India, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah was not readily available for remark.

Sethi stated that Pakistan, the 1992 World Cup victors, is a prominent cricketing nation that should not be disregarded and that they must speak with the ICC on the Asia Cup issue.

After a 2009 assault on the Lankan squad’s bus in Lahore, Pakistan was left without any international cricket, and it took significant lobbying to get top teams to start visiting the nation again in recent years.

Sethi cited the hoopla surrounding any matchup between India and Pakistan and criticised the BCCI’s “stubbornness” for failing to elevate the rivalry to the status of the sport’s most intense.

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