File photo of India vs Pakistan match© AFP
The Chairman and CEO of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is in Lahore to seek assurance from the PCB that it will not push for a hybrid model for its matches at the ODI World Cup in India later this year. Insiders have confirmed to PTI that ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardis made a special trip to Lahore to receive some assurance from the Pakistan Cricket Board regarding the national team’s participation in the World Cup in October-November.
The development came after PCB head Najam Sethi made it clear that the team would not go to India for the World Cup unless a team led by Rohit Sharma visited Pakistan for the previous Asian Cup. “The hosts of the ICC and the World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are concerned about the hybrid model promoted by Najam Sethi, who chairs the PCB cricket board.
“While a hybrid model has been proposed by Sethi for the Asian Cup which precedes the ICC event, there is concern that once adopted for the regional competition, the PCB may also ask the ICC to implement it for the World Cup when it comes to Pakistan. play in India,” he explained.
Sethi has already indicated that if the Pakistani government does not give permission to send the team to India or if he has security concerns, the PCB may ask the ICC to play Pakistan’s matches on no man’s land.
“Naturally, neither the ICC nor the BCCI wants this situation, as Pakistan’s unequivocal participation in the matches in India would guarantee the success of the Indo-Pakistan matches as well as the tournament itself.” Another source said this was the main reason why BCCI Secretary Jay Shah remained reluctant to adopt a hybrid model for the Asian Cup and support three or four tournament matches in Pakistan and the remaining games in the UAE or Sri Lanka.
Pakistan is the host of the Asian Cup and Sethi has repeatedly stated that if the tournament is moved from Pakistan to one neutral country, he will not compete.
He also hinted that if Pakistan fails to host some of the Asian Cup matches, it could negatively affect the World Cup as well.
“ICC officials are trying to work as a bridge between the PCB and BCCI and resolve outstanding issues regarding the Asian Cup and the World Cup.”
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