New Delhi [India], March 29 : Pakistan team could play its ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 matches in Bangladesh instead of India, which is the original host of the tournament, ESPNCricinfo reported on Wednesday.
The World Cup is slated to take place in October-November this year.
Discussions have taken place that could see Pakistan shifting their games to a neutral venue and Bangladesh has been proposed as venue due to its close proximity to India.
Due to tense political relations between both nations, the idea was discussed last week at International Cricket Council (ICC) meetings, ESPNCricinfo said.
A hybrid model for this year’s Asia Cup is being looked at as a solution. Pakistan is the original host of Asia Cup this year, but India is likely to play their matches at a neutral venue.
The idea came on the sidelines of board meetings in Dubai. India’s presence in Asia Cup and Pakistan’s participation in the 50-over World Cup coming later was on the agenda of members from the two Boards.
Though it has only been mentioned as an option and no formal discussions have taken place on the subject, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has pointed out that India not participating in Asia Cup has a potential impact on ICC Champions Trophy 2025, which will also be held in Pakistan.
Asian Cricket Council (ACC) agreed, in principle to a hybrid model, that will allow Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan, but India’s matches to be played on neutral venues. These neutral venues are yet to be finalised and likely options include UAE, Oman, Sri Lanka or even England. India-Pakistan matches will be played at neutral venue and the final as well, if India reaches there.
This hybrid model, proposed by PCB in informal discussions, could be applicable for World Cup as well. The ODI World Cup is likely to start on October 5. PCB has pointed out numerous times that their participation in the tournament depends on India’s participation in Asia Cup.
The six-nation Asia Cup, which will be played in a 50-over format in the first part of September this year, has grouped India and Pakistan together with a qualifier team. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghstan are part of the other group.
The final will be one of a total of 13 games that will be played over the course of 13 days. The top two teams from each group proceed to the Super fours and the top two teams compete in the final, according to the 2022 Asia Cup format.
After the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Bahrain in mid-March ended without a resolution, members converged for two further rounds of informal discussions in Dubai. The BCCI team included Arun Dhumal, the head of the IPL governing council, and the BCCI secretary Jay Shah. The PCB, which will host the 2023 Asia Cup, was represented by its chair Najam Sethi.
Last October, the PCB was caught off guard by Jay Shah, who stated that the 2023 Asia Cup would be held in a “neutral” venue. The PCB, under the then chairman Ramiz Raja, promptly responded that Pakistan will withdraw from the competition if it was taken outside of the nation.
Last year, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chairperson Jay Shah had stated that India will not travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup due to security reasons.
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