Monday June 24, 2024

Sethi warns of boycotting World Cup as Asia Cup standoff continues

PCB chief Najam Sethi says Pakistan will go to India to play ICC World Cup if they accept hybrid model for Asia Cup

By Web Desk
May 15, 2023
An undated photograph of Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi. — AFP/File
An undated photograph of Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi. — AFP/File  

Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi has warned India of drawing out of World Cup 2023 in response to the rival country's rigid stance on the hybrid model for Asia Cup 2023.

He said that Pakistan can also accuse the government in New Delhi regarding the home side's security concerns in India.

"Our government can also put allegations on India for provoking terrorism. Both countries have fought against terrorism. After the attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, things have changed a lot in Pakistan," he reiterated.

He, however, made it clear that Pakistan will go to India to play ICC World Cup if they accept the hybrid model for this season of Asia Cup.

In an interview with an Indian media outlet, Sethi said the political situation will settle down in Pakistan by September (Asia Cup window).

"Riots also happened in Dehli and it can happen anywhere. It doesn't mean that the city has become unsafe. When Imran Khan [former Prime Minister] was on the roads for protest, the New Zealand team was playing in Pakistan. We have been hosting international cricket for the last four years. There is no problem at all," he added.

Sethi was the first person who influenced the revival of international cricket in Pakistan back in 2015. Under his presence, Zimbabwe toured Lahore in 2015 followed by the star-studded Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in 2017 in Lahore when he was the PCB chairman.

Since then, international stars and teams toured Pakistan for PSL and bilateral series quite often. Recently, Pakistan hosted top cricket teams such as Australia, England, and New Zealand.

Sethi ensured that Pakistan will play ICC World Cup in India if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) accepts a hybrid model for the Asia Cup.

"We are ready to play WC in India if our Asia Cup hybrid model is accepted," the PCB boss stated.

"I think the decision should now be taken as quickly as possible. I think we have compromised a lot, the hybrid model is the best solution. We will mutually decide on the neutral venue if the hybrid model is accepted," Sethi concluded.

As reported by Geo News citing sources, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is most likely to call a meeting this week to discuss on PCB-proposed hybrid model for hosting the Asian event.

PCB has offered two options in the hybrid model. In the first option, India will play their matches at a neutral venue whereas all other matches will be played in Pakistan. In another option, four matches of the group stage in the first phase will take place in Pakistan whereas the second phase, in which matches of the Indian team followed by the next stage matches including the final, will be played at a neutral venue.