The ICC ODI World Cup is arriving by the end of this year. Most of the teams are already ready to face each other on the most prestigious stage of cricket. India is hosting the tournament after a long gap of twelve years. All the matches are scheduled to be played in various world-class cricket stadiums of the cricket-loving country.
A team has a personal issue with travelling to India for the upcoming tournament. It is none other than Pakistan who object from the beginning to coming to India and playing matches. Even against the decision, the Pakistan Cricket Board has produced several applications to the International Cricket Council with their issues. But the ICC was never ready to consider.
Pakistan’s issues with Indian venues:
As the ICC declared the schedule of the World Cup in India, Pakistan have raised its voice against it. Due to the internal geo-political issues between the two countries; Pakistan does not want to cross the border and come to India. However, the PCB immediately stated that it now needs government clearance for any tour to India; even including World Cup match venues.
Pakistan had earlier expressed their issues with playing in Ahmedabad; the home area of India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The city was the centre of 2002’s deadly religious’ riots, in which at least 1,000, mostly Muslims, were killed. The team will then rush to Bengaluru to play Australia on 20th October, and the next at Chennai. They will play against Afghanistan on the 23rd October and South Africa on the 27th October. Kolkata is the next venue as Pakistan will face Bangladesh on 31st October before coming back to Bengaluru to face the Kiwis on 4th November, wrapping up their league stage against England in Kolkata on 12th November.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had raised voice over playing in Mumbai. Then, the ICC ensured Pakistan did not travel to India’s Economic hub. If Pakistan qualifies for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata. If India reaches the last four, they will play their semi-final in Mumbai, unless against Pakistan.
Therefore, the would-be Chairman of PCB, Mr Ashraf, said that he would respect the idea of the hybrid model proposed by his predecessor. In the meantime, he has hinted that the decision to permit the team to travel to India for the World Cup would be taken after official consultations. The PCB has forwarded the list of fixtures to the relevant departments of the Pakistan government. With the government’s verdict still in the process, it is highly likely that the official World Cup schedule will be altered according to Pakistan’s potential issues, especially if there is a serious security-related issue.
Asia Cup’s scenario:
ICC says, “If Pakistan decides against coming to India for the World Cup, then it will be replaced by the third-top team from the World Cup qualifiers.”
Now talking about Pakistan and India, the 2023 Asia Cup hosting witnessed a major question mark over the prestigious continental and World Cup events. The schedule arrives less than 4 months before the tournament begins, with India and Pakistan having been involved in a bitter dispute over the Asia Cup. India stood against travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in August and September. Pakistan responded by almost threatening to boycott the World Cup if they were not allowed to host at least some Asia Cup matches at home. India has not travelled to Pakistan, while Pakistan’s last visit to India was in the 2021 T-20 World Cup.
Finally, the stalemate was resolved this month when PCB agreed to split matches with Sri Lanka. India will participate in the Asia Cup matches in Sri Lanka. However, the World Cup schedule ensures that Pakistan will play in just five venues- Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. Now, a statement comes from PCB, “We are liaising with our government for guidance.
Pakistan may get huge disadvantages in their cricketing future if they avoid coming to India for the World Cup. But when India refused to travel to their country; it may feel insulting to them, and as revenge, PCB decided to go against ICC’s World Cup schedule. But, after all the tantrums, it is finally a do-or-die call for the Pak board; and now their voice is melting slowly