The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) have rejected the idea of Pakistan playing its ICC World Cup 2023 matches in Bangladesh.
Earlier, it was reported Pakistan won’t play in India during the mega event since the Indian board had decided against sending their team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup this year.
“Bangladesh was not discussed at all at the Board meeting and full backing for the event in India was given by the Board. We’re focused on that,” an ICC official told Cricbuzz on Wednesday evening.
ICC General Manager Wasim Khan had also hinted at the possibility of Pakistan playing at a neutral venue during the World Cup.
“I don’t know if it would take place here in a different country but a neutral venue is highly likely,” Wasim, a former CEO of the PCB had said.
“I don’t think that Pakistan will play their matches in India. I think their matches will also be held at a neutral venue just like India’s Asia Cup matches.”
However, a BCCI official strongly reacted to Wasim’s statement on the matter.
“Wasim Khan has no business talking about the neutral venue, he should stop behaving like a PCB CEO,” said a top BCCI official.
It must be noted that in October last year, Pakistani cricket authorities hinted they may pull out of this year’s World Cup in India, a day after officials there said they would not send a team to the 2023 Asia Cup in Pakistan.
Indian cricket board secretary Jay Shah had said that India “can’t” send a team to Pakistan, adding the tournament would be moved to a neutral venue.
His announcement caught Pakistan by surprise, with officials warning it could “split” the international cricket community.
The PCB said Shah’s comments “can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle”.
The Pakistan board said it has not received any official communication from the ACC, and noted that hosting rights for the 2023 Asia Cup had been given to Pakistan under Shah’s leadership.
Despite being considered one of the sport’s greatest rivalries, India and Pakistan have not met on home soil in any version of the game since 2012, and only play each other in multinational tournaments on neutral grounds.