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Why Can’t Pakistan’s ODI WC Matches be Played at Neutral Venues if India Don’t Send Team for Asia Cup: PAK Sports Minister

Last Updated: July 11, 2023, 16:15 IST

India and Pakistan only play each other in ICC or continental tournaments. (AFP Photo)

India and Pakistan only play each other in ICC or continental tournaments. (AFP Photo)

Pakistan sports minister has maintained he wants their team to play ODI World Cup matches at a neutral venue if Asia Cup matches are taken away from them

Pakistan Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (Sports) Ahsan Mazari has reiterated his stance over holding their men’s cricket team’s ODI World Cup matches at a neutral venue should India refuse to travel across the border for Asia Cup 2023.

With ICC set to meet in Durban later this week, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman will raise the issue of India’s refusal to play in Pakistan.

“Zaka Ashraf will bring up the issue of why can’t Pakistan’s matches in the World Cup be played at neutral venues when the Indian team can’t travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup,” Mazari was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

BCCI has maintained it won’t be sending the team to Pakistan owing to Indian government not giving its permission citing the geopolitical tensions between the two neighbours.

PCB initially threatened it would boycott the 2023 ODI World Cup in India should the Asia Cup be moved out of Pakistan.

However, the then PCB chairman Najam Sethi and Asian Cricket Council arrived at a hybrid model according to which five matches will be held in Pakistan while the remaining in Sri Lanka.

“I want our World Cup matches at neutral venues if India doesn’t want to send its team to Pakistan for Asia Cup. If they have security problems in Pakistan according to the Indian board, then we can also question the security situation in India,” said Mazari.

Citing sources, PTI reports that Ashraf will also plead a case for Pakistan getting a better share of ICC revenues.

Sethi had prepared a case for the ICC to increase Pakistan’s revenue share in the new financial model for member countries.

“Sethi had argued that if India was to get the lion’s share of the ICC revenues Pakistan also wanted an increase in its share as without its participation, the ICC would not be able to sign lucrative broadcast and other sponsorship deals for its new cycle of ICC events from 2023-2027,” said the source.

“The situation is clear (that) if there is no Pakistan-India matches in ICC events, the other boards stand to lose out on revenue,” the source added.

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