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Pakistan Threatens World Cup Pullout After Jay Shah Announces Asia Cup 2023 At ‘Neutral Venue’: Report

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) put themselves on a collision course on October 18 after Jay Shah’s statement- the 2023 Asia Cup will be played at a ‘neutral venue’ at BCCI’s 91stAnnual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The words of Shah became a subject of ego for neighbors and their cricket board, and they are now giving direct threats to pullout themselves from next year’s ODI World Cup which is scheduled to take place in India.

The issue of India will be playing Asia Cup 2023 in Pakistan was stated in the notes circulated to the state associations of BCCI before the BCCI’s AGM.

“We have decided to play at a neutral venue,” Shah was quoted as saying by multiple cricket news platforms after the conclusion of the 91st AGM.        

One of the reasons cited for not playing in Pakistan was that there has been precedence in the past of the continental event being shifted to a neutral venue.

India hasn’t Played in Pakistan since the 2008 edition of the Asia Cup, and after the Mumbai terrorist attack on 26/11 in that year, the scheduled bilateral series in early 2009 was canceled.

Another reason cited was the Sri Lankan team bus being attacked by terrorists in Lahore, after which no international team visited the country for more than a decade due to security reasons.

On the other hand, Pakistan had traveled to India for a short six-match white-ball series in 2012, but in the last 10 years, there hasn’t been any bilateral cricket. The two teams have only played each other at various ICC and ACC events.

The PCB is irked as international cricket has resumed in the country with all top nations like England, Australia, and West Indies traveling there to play Tests and white-ball games.

Sources close to PCB chairman Ramiz Raja indicated that one of the options that they are mulling after Shah’s statement is to boycott the 50-over ICC World Cup in India which is scheduled to be held next year in India.

“The PCB is now prepared to take hard decisions and play hardball because it is also aware that the ICC and ACC events will have to face commercial liabilities and losses if Pakistan does not play India in these multi-team events,” a senior PCB source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

Here, it is pertinent to write, the two teams are not scheduled to play any bilateral games or series in the next five years including the remaining month of this yearas per ICC’s 2023-27 FTP cycle announced in August this year.

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