As the talks mellow down with both India and Pakistan engaged in their respective series, a fresh update has arrived on Pakistan’s stance on boycotting the ODI Cup, which will be held in India next year. As per a report in PTI, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has informed ICC officials that it had threatened to boycott the ODI World Cup in order to put pressure on India to send their team for the Asia Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Pakistan next year. The report cited a source aware of the development.
It further stated that PCB chairman Ramiz Raja told the officials that no decision in regard to Pakistan boycotting the World Cup has been made. A few ICC officials, including CEO Geoff Allardice, had traveled to Pakistan during the home Test series against England, which the hosts lost 0-3.
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“Ramiz assured the ICC officials that PCB had made no decision on not sending its team to India for the World Cup nor was it in favour of boycotting such a mega event but because of the strained cricket relations between the two countries, the PCB had to exert pressure to get the Indian board to send its team for Asia Cup,” the source was quoted by PTI as saying.
The report also had another key information, which said that the PCB chief told the officials that the board remains firm on hosting the 2025 Champions Trophy irrespective of India sending their players or not.
“Ramiz was very clear that Pakistan will not be receptive to the tournament being moved anywhere else because of India as it had already started heavy investment on building or renovating infrastructure for the ICC event,” the source said.
“Ramiz reminded the ICC officials that the executive board which included India had given hosting rights of the Champions Trophy to Pakistan, so there should be no confusion as to where the tournament will be held on schedule.”
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The tension between the two boards rose in October after ACC president and BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that India won’t be sending their team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, and subsequently Pakistan threatened to pull out of the World Cup.
If India travel then it will be their first tour to the neighbouring country in 13 years. The team had last visited Pakistan in the 2008 Asia Cup and after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks the bilateral series almost came to an extinct.
Since the attacks, Pakistan have once traveled to India for a bilateral series, which took place in 2012. Ever since the two teams have only locked horns at ICC and ACC events.