The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Najam Sethi, will reportedly demand a written guarantee from BCCI president Jay Shah that the Indian team will participate in the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan before committing to Pakistan’s national team playing its ODI World Cup games in India later this year.
The BCCI has chosen Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata as possible venues for the 2023 World Cup, which will be played from October 5, according to the Press Trust of India.
However, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), under the chairmanship of Jay Shah, has not confirmed the proposed ‘Hybrid Model’ for the upcoming Asia Cup, which would see India play its matches in the UAE and Pakistan play their games in Pakistan. As a result, Sethi has reportedly been advised to take a tough stance on the issue.
According to a reliable source, Sethi is scheduled to leave for Dubai on May 8, where he will hold meetings with the ACC and International Cricket Council officials.
During his Dubai visit, Sethi is expected to lobby for Pakistan’s stance that it will not play its World Cup matches in India unless the BCCI and ICC guarantee that India will come to Pakistan to play in the 2025 Champions Trophy.
The source added that Sethi has received tacit approval from government officials to convey a strong and blunt stance to the ACC members about hosting the Asia Cup in September. The PCB is proposing a hybrid model plan for the ACC, which would see the Asia Cup played in Lahore and Dubai.
Sethi reportedly plans to make it clear to the ACC members that either they accept Pakistan’s hybrid proposal or the PCB will not take part in the competition this year if it is moved from Pakistan.
Sethi is apparently not willing to accept any more delays from the ACC on the finalisation of venues and schedules for the Asia Cup. The source claimed that Sethi is clear that if there are no Asia Cup matches in Pakistan, there will be no Pakistan team in the Asia Cup.
Sethi’s visit to Dubai is seen as a crucial move to secure Pakistan’s interests in the upcoming cricket events.