The battle between India and Pakistan over hosting the 2023 Asia Cup continues, with no resolution in sight. The BCCI had announced last year that it would not travel to Pakistan for the tournament, and Pakistan has refused to back down on its stance of hosting the event. The PCB has proposed a hybrid model, with India playing its matches in a neutral country, while the other teams compete in Pakistan. The PCB has even threatened to boycott the 2023 World Cup in India if India does not travel to Pakistan.
PCB chief Najam Sethi has shut down the idea of India and Pakistan facing each other in the marquee clash of the 2023 ODI World Cup, stating that the Men in Green have security concerns in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. “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,” Sethi told Indian Express.
“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 in our way to tell us, ‘hey, we are going to play you in Ahmedabad and you watch out. You know who rules Ahmedabad,” he added.
The schedule for the 2023 World Cup has yet to be officially announced, but it is widely expected that Ahmedabad will host the final. The Narendra Modi Stadium is the world’s largest cricket stadium, with a seating capacity of around 130,000.
“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,” said Sethi.
The ongoing dispute between the two cricketing nations has created a political logjam, which must be resolved for the successful hosting of the Asia Cup and the 2023 World Cup. The sport should be kept separate from politics, and the ICC should step in to mediate and find a mutually acceptable solution that benefits all parties involved. It is crucial to ensure that cricket is the winner, and the fans do not miss out on the exciting action on the field.