Following the recent controversy over India’s participation in the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan has now reportedly demanded that their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 matches be held at a neutral venue, preferably in Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, instead of India. This move comes after a statement from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) last year, indicating that India would not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup due to security concerns.
A PCB source, speaking to news agency ANI, stated, “Yes, we are thinking that we will not travel to India for World Cup matches if BCCI didn’t send their team to Pakistan for Asia Cup. We want Sri Lanka or Bangladesh to host our matches; we want to play there, not in India.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has not yet released the detailed schedule for the World Cup 2023, which is set to take place in October-November this year. In the meantime, discussions around a hybrid model for the Asia Cup have been proposed, with Pakistan hosting the tournament and India playing their matches at a neutral venue.
This idea emerged during recent board meetings in Dubai, where representatives from both cricket boards discussed their respective participation in the Asia Cup and the World Cup. The PCB has also raised concerns about the potential impact of India’s non-participation in the Asia Cup on the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, which is scheduled to be held in Pakistan.
The Asia Cup, slated for September this year, will feature six nations playing in a 50-over format. India and Pakistan have been grouped together with a qualifier, while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan make up the other group.
In October last year, ACC chairperson Jay Shah mentioned that the 2023 Asia Cup would be held at a “neutral” venue, catching the PCB off guard. Then-chairman Ramiz Raja promptly declared that Pakistan would withdraw from the competition if it were moved outside the country.
As the cricket world eagerly awaits the ICC’s decision on the matter, tensions between India and Pakistan continue to rise, putting the future of cricketing events in the region at stake.