BCCI President heaps lavish praise on Pakistan’s hospitality

BCCI President Roger Binny and vice-President Rajeev Shukla recently paid a visit to Pakistan. Cricket between both countries has been the most-anticipated, yet poorly planned events in modern sports history. Pakistan and India always seem to have one issue or the other whenever a big cricket game is on schedule.  

Why Did the BCCI President Visit Pakistan?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Roger Binny received an invitation from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2023. The BCCI President honored the invitation and spent some days in Pakistan. Both BCCI executives returned to India on Wednesday (September 6, 2023) through the Attari-Wagah border crossing.

Binny praised Pakistan’s hospitality during the visit and revealed several interested details from meetings held with PCB officials:

We had a very good meeting in Pakistan. We received very good hospitality. They took care of us very well. The main agenda was to watch cricket and to sit and discuss things with them. Overall, it was a very good trip. Pakistan treated us very well, they went out of the way to make us comfortable,” Binny added.

PCB officials invited BCCI top execs to watch Asia Cup 2023 games in Pakistan and see how the atmosphere is ahead of India’s game with the Falcons on September 10, 2023.

Does the BCCI Believe India Will Tour Pakistan for Cricket Soon?

Journalists asked BCCI chief Binny about the possibility of Team India touring Pakistan for cricket in the future. He believes the BCCI is open to such an event but the final say rests with top Indian politicians:

The BCCI can’t say. It is a government issue, and they will have to take a call. We need to wait and see. And hopefully, it will happen because the (ODI) World Cup is coming up, and the Pakistan team will be in India to play.”

Binny’s statement largely vindicates the BCCI from any future backlash about India’s reluctance to play cricket on Pakistani soil.

How Does the BCCI Assess Pakistan’s Hospitality During Their Visit?

The BCCI contingent to Pakistan praised their hospitality and overall approach to ensure the governing body’s team were comfortable:

The meeting was very good. The Pakistan Cricket Board took very good care of us. The security was tremendous, all the arrangements were fabulous. It was a goodwill visit for cricket which went well,”

The execs also commented on their good working relationship with the ACC ahead of any future arrangements involving member governing bodies:

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President Mr Jay Shah is also BCCI secretary, so keeping in mind that, we had this visit. BCCI enjoys a good relationship with all the ACC members, that’s why we also visited Sri Lanka.”

Cricket has always been an important medium even before. Take the 2004 tour, for example; the atmosphere that was created resulted in a great friendship and trade delegations. The shopkeepers were not even taking money from people, that was a great atmosphere.”

Will the BCCI Visit Strengthen Relations Between India and Pakistan?

From a sporting perspective, it could. However, the political side of the India vs. Pakistan row could erase any gains made from the BCCI chair’s visit. Political will to lift the ban on India’s cricket team could be at an all-time low. Politicians in India may not assent to India playing cricket in Pakistan, at least not for now.

Have India and Pakistan Called Off Matches Before the Late 2000s?

India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads for decades. Governing bodies of both teams have called off matches against each other on at least three different occasions before the late 2000s and early 2010s boycott.

Pakistan and India were on schedule to play against each other in 1986, 1991, and 1993 at Asia Cup tournaments.

These teams couldn’t face each other in 1986 as India had diplomatic disputes with the host country Sri Lanka at that time. Pakistan opted out of the meeting in 1991 owing to their perennial disputes with India.

Both teams called off the 1993 game against each other owing to rising political tensions between the countries at that time. Many other cancellations have occurred since that period with both teams opting to stay away from competing against each other over the years.

Which Team Has a Better ICC Record Between India and Pakistan?

India has a marginally better win record in ICC tournaments than Pakistan. The Men in Blue have been able to defeat Pakistan on fourteen occasions in ICC tournaments, eclipsing the Falcons’ four (4) wins over India.

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