Ever since the tentative schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has emerged, the biggest point of discussion has been the venue where the arch-rivals India vs Pakistan might play their highly anticipated encounter. According to reliable sources in the BCCI, these two teams might face off against each other in Chennai on October 15. It’s because the governing body of cricket in India has the prerogative to pick the cities where the Cricket World Cup matches will be held since they are the standalone host for the prestigious tournament.
While talking to Indian Express about the political logjam surrounding the ICC Cricket World Cup venue for India vs Pakistan game, Najam Sethi, the PCB chief remarked, “If India now wants to have a neutral venue and accepts the hybrid model, then we’ll use the same hybrid model in the World Cup. Pakistan can play its World Cup matches in Dhaka or any other venue to which India agrees, and similarly in the Champions Trophy. So all the other countries can come and play in Pakistan but India can play at a neutral venue. So this is a model that goes forward and resolves this political logjam.”
The 74-year-old reacted to the recent reports in the media which suggested that India vs Pakistan might happen in Ahmedabad and said, “When I heard that the Pakistan match was to be in Ahmedabad, I smiled and said to myself, ‘this is one way to make sure we don’t come to India’. I mean if you’d said Chennai or Kolkata, it might have made sense.”
He also mentioned the political angle surrounding the venues of the Cricket World Cup while detailing that Ahmedabad might be a security risk for the Pakistan team to travel to. He said, “I don’t want to go into the politics of it but certainly there seems to be a political angle to this because if there’s one city where we might have security issues, it’s Ahmedabad."
"And therefore, I think the less said about that, the better. It gave the impression that this was a red herring that was thrown our way to tell us, "Hey, we are going to play you in Ahmedabad and you watch out. You know who rules Ahmedabad,” Najam Sethi opined.