The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has once again made their stand clear on the Indian team not travelling to Pakistan to play the upcoming Asia Cup. The reiteration of India not keen to travel to Pakistan was made at the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) executive board meeting held in Bahrain on Saturday.
Reason: BCCI said it won’t get ‘clearance from the Indian government’ to travel to Pakistan to play cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is scheduled to host Asia Cup, however, the ACC executive board decided not to take a decision about the hosts for the Asia Cup. ACC will discuss the hosts and venue in March next month when the committee meets again.
The BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who is also the chairman of the ACC, had earlier stated that BCCI won’t be sending its team to Pakistan. The BCCI has no problem playing in another country where PCB can be a host nation. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah are being looked at as possible venues for Asia Cup if PCB agrees to host the tournament.
It is understood BCCI secretary Shah also spoke to PCB’s new chairman Najam Sethi.
PCB was keen on hosting the Asia Cup and pointed to international teams touring the country to assure players of safety. Teams like England, New Zealand and Australia have toured Pakistan and played Test cricket. PCB wants cricketing ties with the Indian team to resume like earlier, however, the BCCI seems to be reluctant to travel to Pakistan.
“The Indian government will not give permission for the Indian team to travel to Pakistan. The BCCI has tried to make other boards understand the situation. So everyone thought to wait for one more month,” a BCCI source informed.
Last year, Sri Lanka, which was going through a economic crises hosted Asia Cup in UAE. On Sunday, an ACC release stated: “The ACC had a constructive dialogue on the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. The Board agreed to continue discussions on operations, timelines and any other specifics with a view to ensure the success of the tournament. An update on the matter would be taken on the next ACC Executive Board Meeting to be held in March 2023.”
The statement added, “In another development the executive board approved the inclusion of teams from Japan (JAPAN CRICKET ASSOCIATION) and Indonesia (PERSUTAN CRICKET INDONESIA) in the ACC pathway tournaments to participate in the events as invitees. The ACC will also look into revive women’s cricket in Afghanistan, who aren’t playing cricket post Taliban rule in the country.”