Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has shared his views on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) continually rigid stance on the Indian men’s team not travelling to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup.
“If anyone is unable to stand on his own feet and then the decision to make such strong calls is not easy,” Afridi told Samaa TV. “They have to look at plenty of things. India agar aankhe dikha raha hain (If India is showing you their eyes), or taking such strong stance, then they have made themselves that strong, hence they are being able to talk like this, otherwise they wouldn’t have the courage. At the end it’s making yourself strong and then take decisions.”
Afridi, who served as the Pakistan Cricket Board’s interim chief selector recently, further added that the role of International Cricket Council remained pivotal if India didn’t budge from their position on touring Pakistan.
“I have no idea, will India visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup? Will we boycott the ODI World Cup in India? But we need to take a stand at some point or the other. In this case ICC’s role becomes crucial, they should come forward, but let me say it even ICC won’t be able to do anything in front of BCCI,” he said.
BCCI Secretary and the Asian Cricket Council President, Jay Shah had stated earlier this month that owing to the diplomatic strains between the two countries, a cricket tour was out of cards. “We [India] can’t go there [to Pakistan], they can’t come here. In the past also, the Asia Cup has been played at a neutral venue,” Shah had said after the 91st BCCI annual general meeting in Mumbai, in the presence of new Board president Roger Binny.
Following this, the PCB had made a statement on the impact of Shah’s. “The comments were made without any discussion or consultation with the Board of the Asian Cricket Council or the Pakistan Cricket Board (event host) and without any thoughts towards their long-term consequences and implications,” the board had stated.
India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin had also shared his views on the same.
“Asia Cup was supposed to take place in Pakistan. But India has announced that if it takes place in Pakistan, then we won’t be participating. If you want us to participate do change the venue. But we would have seen this happen many times. When we say that we won’t go to their place, they will say that they will also not come to our place. Similarly, Pakistan has said that they will also not come to the World Cup. But however, I think it is not possible,” Ashwin was quoted on his YouTube channel.
“But the final call might be the Asia Cup moved to Sri Lanka. This is an important lead-up to the 50-over World Cup. Many tournaments have taken place in Dubai guys. I will also be pleased if it is moved to Sri Lanka.” he added.