The off-the-field rivalry between India and Pakistan is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about subjects in world cricket. With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refusing to travel to Pakistan for the forthcoming Asia Cup 2023, and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) along with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) refusing to travel to a neutral venue, the upcoming tournament is on the verge of getting called off. As the BCCI has already denied that the Men in Blue won’t travel to the neighbouring session, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has in return, has said that their government won’t allow their team to travel to India for the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023.
The Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Najam Sethi has said that if the Indian team doesn’t travel to Pakistan, they too will also reconsider travelling to India for the upcoming mega cricketing event. In addition to this, the PCB is also trying to convince the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to host at least four games in the country or else they will have to withdraw from the council. Notably, the ACC also rejected the idea of hosting the upcoming tournament in Sri Lanka, after the country was named most suitable for hosting.
A source close to the PCB told the ANI, “Yes, Najam Sethi as part of the plan B of the hybrid model proposed by us for the Asia Cup has informed the ACC this week in Dubai that the PCB would be satisfied hosting four games at home.” Notably, the PCB Chief proposed the idea of hosting Pakistan vs Nepal, Afghanistan vs Bangladesh, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh matches in Pakistan and gave his approval to host the rest of the matches in the United Arab Emirates.
Commenting on the issue of the neutral venue, the source added, “The one challenge now facing the ACC and us as hosts is that Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India are insisting the event shouldn't be held in UAE in September as the weather is very hot. In the recent past, the BCCI has organised the entire (half) of IPL in UAE between September and November (in 2021) while the last two Asia Cups have also been held in UAE during the same period.”