For Playing 2023 World Cup Matches, Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Najam Sethi Proposes This
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi said if Asia Cup is played in a hybrid model then the 2023 World Cup in India can also be played in a hybrid model
The confusion regarding the host venue of the 2023 Asia Cup still remains. While it was scheduled to be held in Pakistan, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah, who is also the head of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), in October last year said that India won't travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. After that statement, the deliberations have been going on regarding the host venue of the continental event. A hybrid model has also been proposed, in which the plan is to shift India's Asia Cup matches outside Pakistan, but no final decision has been made regarding that too.
Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi, in an interview to Sports Tak on Thursday, talked about the proposed 'hybrid model' for the Asia Cup.
"The last meeting of the Asian Cricket Council was in Bahrain last month. I was part of that meeting. Two things that came out of the meeting were, one, if India doesn't play in Pakistan, then a neutral venue should be the option. Then a hybrid model can be embraced so that a few matches can take place in Pakistan and India's matches will be at a neutral venue because we are hosts and it's our right to play in Pakistan as well. And there are no security issues. And if that doesn't happen, I don't think we can play Asia Cup," Sethi said.
"The situation is, if India doesn't play in Pakistan, we will also not play in India. That's our view and our country's view of the whole situation. Then the decision was to deliberate more on hybrid model. We were told to present a model. We presented the model but nothing has been spoken about that," he added.
When asked to clarify that whether Pakistan were ready to take an "all or nothing" stand, Sethi said: "No, we never said all or nothing. We are saying if India is not able to play in Pakistan, it's okay. Pakistan will play India in a neutral venue. The remaining teams can play in Pakistan. Because Pakistan has hosted all major countries in the recent past, teams like Australia, England, Bangladesh and New Zealand have come and played in Pakistan. There are no security issues. We can play a couple of matches against India and the rest of the teams' matches can also be played in a neutral venue. We are ready for compromise. All or nothing is not what we want."
Sethi then brought up the topic of the 2023 World Cup in India. He said the same hybrid model can be used for the marquee event as well. India are the host nation for the 2023 ODI World Cup, that will reportedly start in the first week of October.
"My view is when the World Cup happens, we can use the same model there. Because our government will not give permission that we play in India. Because Indian government has not given permission to BCCI to play in Pakistan. So, our matches can take place in Bangladesh or any another neutral venue. That way the Asia Cup, World Cup can happen smoothly. Then the 2025 Champions Trophy (scheduled to be held in Pakistan) can be played in the same model," he said.
"And at any stage, if India is ready to play in Pakistan, then there is no problem at all. We can also then go to India for the World Cup. If that does not happen we can follow this hybrid model as a compromise."
Sethi was then asked, if such a decision to not play the World Cup matches in India might invite sanctions from the International Cricket Council (ICC). "Our view is that if India does not come to Pakistan for Asia Cup and we follow a hybrid model. Then, we cane follow the hybrid model in World Cup too. There is no question of sanctions. There is clause that if there is a security issue, you don't have to play. If there is force majeure, we will not play," he replied.