The International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice are in Lahore seeking a guarantee from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that it will not demand for a hybrid model for Pakistan’s matches in the ODI World Cup which is set to be hosted by India later in 2023.
According to a PTI report, Barclay and Allardice are holding discussions with PCB Chairman Najam Sethi to get the board’s assurance that their players will fly to India to play the ICC World Cup.
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PCB and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are locked in a tussle over the 2023 Asia Cup participation. Pakistan are the hosts of the continental tournament and BCCI have made it clear that the Indian team will not travel to the neighbouring country.
In response, Pakistan had threatened that they would also refrain from sending a team for the ICC World Cup to be hosted in India.
Sethi has also indicated that unless the Pakistan government gives a clearance regarding security preparations, PCB would not play in India and would request ICC for a neutral venue for Pakistan’s matches.
“The ICC and World Cup hosts, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are concerned with the hybrid model being pushed by Najam Sethi who heads the cricket management committee of the PCB.
“Although the hybrid model has been suggested by Sethi for the Asia Cup which precedes the ICC event, the concern remains that once accepted for the regional event the PCB might also then ask the ICC to implement it for the World Cup when it comes to Pakistan playing in India. Naturally, neither the ICC nor the BCCI want such a situation since Pakistan’s unequivocal participation in matches in India would guarantee the success of Indo-Pakistan matches and also the tournament itself,” PTI quoted an insider source as saying.
Another source revealed that this was the reason why BCCI secretary Jay Saha remains reluctant to accept the hybrid model for the Asia Cup. He suggests holding three-four matches in Pakistan and the rest should be shifted out of the country to either UAE or Sri Lanka.
“The ICC officials are trying to work as a bridge between the PCB and BCCI and resolve the outstanding issues pertaining to the Asia Cup and World Cup,” the source stated.
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