It’s India vs Pakistan once again, but this time off the field ! The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) , Ramiz Raja stated that Pakistan would stay away from participating in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 in India, if the latter refuses to be a part of the Asia Cup in Pakistan that precedes the World Cup.
He, however, praised the Pakistan team for their success in recent outings including the win Pakistan registered against India in the Asia Cup and the T20 world cup in UAE last year and the positive effects it had on the economic front for the team.
Strong statement by Ramiz Raja on Pakistan boycotting World Cup 2023
“If Pakistan doesn’t take part in the World Cup scheduled in India next year, who will watch it? We have a clear stand: If the Indian team comes here then we will go for the World Cup. If they don’t come then they can play the World Cup without us,” Raja told Urdu News.
The above statement comes as a retaliation to the comment made by the BCCI Secretary and the President of the Asian Cricket Council, Mr. Jay Shah who had earlier been vocal in front of the media about the Board’s reservations in regards to the Indian Cricket Team visiting Pakistan to play the Asia Cup.
Mr. Shah, also in his present capacity as the President of the Asian Cricket Council, suggested a change in venue for the Asia Cup from Pakistan to UAE , which obviously didn’t go down well with the PCB. However, past records do point towards multiple instances wherein the Asia Cup was held in neutral venues.
In his statement to the media last month, Mr. Shah confirmed that it’s upto the Indian Government to allow or permit the Indian team’s visit to Pakistan and hence BCCI doesn’t have the authority to take a call on this.
PCB’s approach on this issue has been very agressive to say the least and this Tit-for-Tat remarks by the Chairman does vindicate their stand. Ramiz Raja , however, went overboard when he expressed his doubts about a massive loss of audience if the Pakistan team refuses to be a part of the ODI World Cup in India.
It is highly unlikely that BCCI would give-in to Pakistan’s threats and a venue change for the World Cup remains a distant dream for them.