PCB Chairman Najam Sethi has made it clear that Pakistan will only travel to India if the Men in Blue play cricket in Pakistan in the Asia Cup and assure of traveling for the Champions Trophy in 2025. For the unversed, Pakistan are the official hosts for the upcoming Asia Cup and the Champions Trophy. BCCI Secretary recently said that team India will not be playing in Pakistan but a lot of water has flown since then regarding the matter.
PCB has come up with a hybrid model when it comes to hosting Asia Cup is waiting on the decision from Asian Cricket Council. But Najam Sethi is now adamant of the fact that unless India plays in Pakistan, PCB will not reciprocate either. At the same time, there are murmurs around Pakistan having issues with playing against India in Ahmedabad in the World Cup. But Sethi feels the real question is whether Pakistan will play in India at all during the mega event.
"You are asking me whether we will play in Ahmedabad or not but I am telling you, the real question is whether we will play in India or not? We will play in India if India plays in Pakistan. But if India doesn't play in Pakistan, why should we play in India? So my solution was, let India vs Pakistan matches be played at neutral venue. That's all. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
"Now coming to Ahmedabad, if India comes to Pakistan, we will provide VVIP security at every venue and I dare say, we go India on reciprocal terms, if India asks us to play in Ahmedadbad in reciprocal terms, we will have no problems.
"We will play wherever they want us to play because we expect them to provide us the security that is needed just as India would want us to provide them with security at any venue if India were to play in Pakistan. So Ahmedabad is frankly not an issue. Let's first resolve India and Pakistan playing in each other's countries," Najam Sethi told PTI.
As far as the hybrid model is concerned, PCB has presented a model where four matches of Asia Cup to be played in Pakistan and then the rest of the matches are moved to a neutral venue. But Sethi cleared that if the hybrid model is rejected then, Pakistan will pull out of the Asia Cup.
"In the current scenario, we have made it clear that let's play four matches in Pakistan and we will play the rest of the games at neutral venue which we can mutually agree upon. The Asian Cricket Council can take two decisions.
Either they can say 'Okay, let's go ahead and issue the schedule' according to my proposal or they can say 'No, we want to play all the matches at neutral venue'. If they take the first position, everything will be sorted out and we will get cracking. If they take the second position, then I am afraid we won't participate in Asia Cup. That is the current position. We are waiting for response from Mr Jay Shah and other colleagues," Sethi added.