The International Cricket Council (ICC) delegation, which included Chairman Greg Barclay and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Allardice on Wednesday, declared Pakistan a peaceful country for sports and expressed satisfaction with the country’s ability to host the 2025 Champions Trophy.
Furthermore, The News reported Thursday that the ICC delegation hinted at acting as a go-between for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) while seeking assurances from Pakistan about their participation in the 2019 World Cup.
Barclay and Allardice were in Lahore to gain assurances from the PCB regarding Pakistan’s participation in the ICC Cricket World Cup, which is slated for October-November.
The ICC wants the PCB not to insist on using a hybrid format for its World Cup matches.
PCB chief Najam Sethi has stated that if India does not visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup, the Pakistan cricket team will refuse to travel there.
The BCCI has voiced worry that if the PCB’s proposed hybrid format for the Asia Cup is approved, the PCB may urge that the same model be implemented for the ICC World Cup.
If the Pakistani government does not allow the team’s tour to India, the PCB will seek that the matches be played at a neutral venue, according to Sethi.
Such a scenario would be a big loss for both the ICC and the BCCI, as an India-Pakistan match conducted in India draws a sold-out stadium and is financially profitable for both the Indian board and the ICC.
In comparison, holding the match in any other country would not draw a significant crowd, which is why BCCI Secretary Jay Shah was hesitant to accept the hybrid concept for the Asia Cup.
The PCB president further stated that if the Asia Cup was moved from Pakistan to a neutral country, the Pakistani squad will not compete.
However, despite the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) endorsing the hybrid model, rumors indicate that the BCCI remains hesitant, which could result in Pakistan losing the Asia Cup.
ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Jeff Allardice visited the National Cricket Academy and Museum during their visit.