Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) acting chairman Zaka Ashraf will push for Pakistan’s ODI World Cup matches to be played at neutral venues during the ICC meetings in Durban this week. The schedule for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 was announced recently. It is set to take place in October-November in India.
Earlier, India refused to play in the 2023 Asia Cup in Pakistan owing to geopolitical tensions. The Asian Cricket Council had to opt for a hybrid mode, with Sri Lanka and Pakistan hosting the event together. In the latest development, the PCB’s acting chairman is likely to push for Pakistan’s World Cup matches at neutral venues.
Zaka Ashraf and the Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Operating Officer (COO) will attend the ICC Meeting in Durban. The Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (Sports), Ahsan Mazari speaking to Indian Express, said, “Zaka Ashraf will bring up the issue of why can’t Pakistan’s matches in the World Cup be played at neutral venues when the Indian team can’t travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.”
“I want our World Cup matches at neutral venues if India doesn’t want to send its team to Pakistan for Asia Cup. If they have security problems in Pakistan according to the Indian board, then we can also question the security situation in India,” he added.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif forms special committee to decide World Cup stance
Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif formed a special committee to recommend whether they should travel to India for the World Cup. Ahsan Mazari expressed that like him, other members of the committee in their personal capacities feel that it was time for Pakistan to take a strong stance on India refusing to play Asia Cup in the country.
Former chairperson of the Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi had negotiated a deal regarding the Asia Cup. They decided on the hybrid model. A source said that Najam Sethi had prepared a strong case for the ICC to increase Pakistan’s revenue share in the new financial model for member countries.
“Sethi had argued that if India was to get the lion’s share of the ICC revenues Pakistan also wanted an increase in its share as without its participation, the ICC would not be able to sign lucrative broadcast and other sponsorship deals for its new cycle of ICC events from 2023-2027,” said the source.