India vs Pakistan ODI World Cup 2023 faceoff still under cloud as PCB awaits govt’s nod

Much-awaited India vs Pakistan World Cup 2023 match remains under a cloud as Pakistan Cricket Board said the decision of their cricket team traveling to India for the ODI World Cup 2023 is subject to the approval of the government. The development has again pushed the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) into confusion as they want to announce the schedule for the ODI World Cup 2023.

“We have written to the ICC that we can’t give approval or disapproval to this (World Cup schedule),” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Najam Sethi.

“It’s our government who has to decide, just like when it comes to India, it’s their government that decides when they go to play. There is no point asking us if we will play in Ahmedabad. When the time comes, first it will be decided whether we are going or not, then the government decides where we will go. Our decision will rest on these two important conditions,” he added.

India vs Pakistan faceoff is reported to be scheduled for 15 October at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, however no official word on the ODI World Cup 2023 schedule is out yet. Earlier, the announcement of the ODI World Cup 2023 schedule was delayed due to contention between India and Pakistan over the Asia Cup 2023.

India was maintaining that it will not allow Team India to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023, after which Pakistan threatened that it may do the same for ODI World Cup 2023. The issue was resolved with a hybrid settlement with Sri Lanka hosting some matches of Asia Cup 2023.

“The BCCI was about to announce the schedule but we told them we can’t confirm without government approval,” Najam Sethi said.

The approval process from the Pakistan government is not expected to be very smooth as the nation is gearing up for the next general elections and political parties may try to drag the issue into politics.

“I have taken up the issue with Prime Minister and they haven’t deliberated about this,” Sethi said.

“The PM said they have to involve the foreign office as well and have to think through so it’s premature [to ask permission now]. Also, we don’t know who will be in power by then so there is no development right now. But when there is a stable government, the time will come and we will ask them [whether we can tour India],” Sethi said according to ESPN Cricinfo.

“We have also told ICC that considering the security situation, if our government allows us to go we will go otherwise we can’t do much. But if they give us permission then it comes down to our venue preference where we are going to play. It’s the government’s decision, not the board’s so we leave it to them. The PCB and BCCI can’t decide. Our respective governments will take that call just like we did back in 2016,” the PCB chairman said.

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Updated: 17 Jun 2023, 03:19 PM IST

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