India and Pakistan share a great rivalry on the cricket field. The two neighbouring countries, however, don’t enjoy good geopolitical relations which also affects their relationship on the cricket field. The two nations have stopped playing bilateral series of any kind and face each other only in ICC or multi-national tournaments. Fortunately, in the past few years, none of the two countries hosted any ICC tournament or any multi-nation tournament like the Asia Cup.
But now, both Pakistan and India have the hosting rights for the 2023 Asia Cup and the 2023 ODI World Cup. Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has clearly stated that their team won’t travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah who is also Asia Cricket Council (ACC) President has said that the tournament will be shifted to a neutral venue.
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Quite obviously, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed dissent at this decision and has also threatened to pull out of the ODI World Cup if Asia Cup is shifted. Amid all this talk about if India will go to Pakistan or will Pakistan will come to India, former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has said that BCCI has made itself so strong that even the International Cricket Council (ICC) will look helpless in front of it.
Afridi also believes that although ICC should step into this matter, it won’t and rightly so. "I have no idea, will India visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup? Will we boycott the ODI World Cup in India? But we need to take a stand at some point or the other," Afridi told 'Samaa TV'. "In this case ICC's role becomes crucial, they should come forward, but let me say it even ICC won't be able to do anything in front of BCCI," he added.
"If anyone is unable to stand on his own feet and then the decision to make such strong calls is not easy. They have to look at plenty of things. India agar aankhe dikha raha hain (If India is flexing its muscles) or taking such strong stance, then they have made themselves that strong. "So they are able to talk like this, otherwise they wouldn't have the courage. At the end it's about making yourself strong and then take decisions."