Compensate if India refuse to travel to Pakistan for CT 2025, sign hosting rights: PCB urges ICC

Zaka Ashraf said the PCB officials had told ICC that if India refuses to play in Pakistan on security grounds, the global body should appoint an independent security agency.

Published - November 26, 2023 04:09 pm IST - Karachi

File photo of PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf.

File photo of PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf. | Photo Credit: AP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to sign the Champions Trophy 2025 hosting rights agreements with it, stressing that the PCB should be compensated if India refuse to travel to the country citing political and security reasons.

A highly reliable source in the PCB told PTI on November 26 that while the ICC has marked Pakistan as the host of the tournament, the global body is yet to sign the important hosting agreement with it.

The source disclosed that PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and COO Salman Naseer had met the ICC executive board in Ahmedabad to discuss the hosting of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan in February-March, 2025.

“Pakistani officials discussed the probability of the Indian board (BCCI) again refusing to send its team to Pakistan and made it clear that in any given situation the ICC must avoid taking unilateral decisions on the tournament,” the source said.

He said the PCB officials had told ICC that if India refuses to play in Pakistan on security grounds, the global body should appoint an independent security agency.

The PCB further said the agency could liaison with Pakistan government and security officials to assess the security situation of the participating teams including India.

“The PCB officials said many top teams had toured Pakistan in the last two years without any security concerns.

“They also made it clear that in case of India not sending its team and its matches being moved to another country, then the ICC must compensate Pakistan for this,” the source added.

He said the PCB officials were clear that given the relation between Pakistan and Indian governments there was a high probability of India again backing out of playing in the country on security and political grounds.

It may be recalled that India had refused to play in Pakistan in the Asia Cup which was partially hosted by Pakistan in August-September this year.

The Indian team played all its matches in Sri Lanka including the final against that nation.

Pakistan hosted just four games of the Asia Cup under an agreement with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) headed by Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary.

The source said Ashraf and Naseer were clear at the ICC meeting that Pakistan would not give up its hosting rights.

“The BCCI representative maintained that any call on India playing in Pakistan in 2025 would only be taken by their government and they were bound to follow the decision,” he said.

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