India's Response To Pakistan Cricket Board Threat That It May Not Visit For World Cup
India today reacted sharply to Pakistan's threat to pull out of the ICC World Cup next year in a row over the Asia Cup. "You can't ignore India," Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said, asserting that "all top teams" will come to the country for the World Cup.
- "The ODI World Cup will take place next year in India and all big teams around the globe will take part in it. Because you can't ignore India in any sport. India has contributed a lot to sports, especially cricket. What is cricket without India," the Sports Minister said.
- The row started after Asian Cricket Council chief Jay Shah said on Tuesday that India will not travel to Pakistan for next year's Asia Cup and that the tournament could be shifted to a neutral venue.
- Anurag Thakur said the home ministry would decide on the cricket team's travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. "Possibilities are always there. Who thought there will be COVID-19? Anything can happen but the chances (of Indian team travelling to Pakistan) are not much. It's a decision that will be taken by the home ministry. Overall, players' safety and security is an important matter," said the minister, according to PTI.
- Jay Shah's statement has triggered strong reactions from the Pakistani cricket community. Pakistan has been hosting top international teams at home since last year. Teams like Australia and England have toured the country recently.
- The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Jay Shah's comments were unilateral and could "split" the international cricket community. It also said moving the Asia Cup out of Pakistan "could impact future events in India" like the World Cup.
- "The overall impact of such statements have the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities and can impact Pakistan's visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle," PCB said in its statement.
- The clash comes days before India and Pakistan play in the opening match of the Twenty20 World Cup in Melbourne on Sunday.
- Bilateral cricket remains suspended between India and Pakistan who play each other only in multi-team tournaments.
- India had last toured Pakistan for a bilateral series in 2005-06 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid. The estranged neighbours have not played a bilateral cricket series since 2012-13 when Pakistan had toured India for three T20Is and as many ODIs.
- Ties between India and Pakistan have been strained over Kashmir and cross-border terrorism from Pakistan. Bilateral relations between the two nosedived after terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir that India says involved Pakistan-based terror outfits.
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