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PCB Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi talks to journalists during a presser at the Gaddafi Stadium on March 18, 2023. — APP

As the Asia Cup controversy dampens the spirit of cricket in the region, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi expressed concerns over the upcoming tournaments — the ICC World Cup 2023 and the Champions Trophy in 2025.

“I’m also concerned about the World Cup and Champions Trophy apart from the Asia Cup. India can refuse to come to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy as well and ask to change the venue for the event,” Sethi said, in an interview to a foreign news agency.

While India will host the World Cup, Pakistan will welcome cricketing nations during the Champions Trophy.

“If India doesn’t tour Pakistan, then we can also easily say that we won’t tour India,” he added.

The PCB’s present headman said Pakistan’s government might not allow the team to travel to India for the World Cup if the situation persists.

Sethi also spoke about the hybrid model for the Asia Cup, which would allow India to play their matches at a neutral venue, while the rest of the tournament takes place in Pakistan.

“We presented the hybrid model in order to find a positive solution for this problem. The ACC also believes that it is a better approach to address this matter,” he said.

However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is unlikely to accept the hybrid model proposed by the PCB.

It must be noted that BCCI has refused to send their team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, which is set to take place in Pakistan in September this year, and is keen on ensuring that the event is held at a neutral venue. However, the PCB is not interested in hosting the event outside Pakistan since it would affect its efforts with regards to the return of international cricket in the country.

Despite being considered one of sport’s greatest rivalries, India and Pakistan have not met on home soil in any version of the game since 2012, and only play each other in multinational tournaments on neutral grounds.

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