ICC sources dismiss reports about Pakistan playing their World Cup 2023 matches at neutral venue

Xtra Time Web Desk: International Cricket Council (ICC) has rubbished reports that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)is unlikely to play their matches of World Cup 2023 in India. The news which became viral in a few hours on Wednesday evening was later dismissed by ICC. There were speculations about Pakistan playing their World Cup matches in neutral country like Bangladesh instead of India due to the political tension between the two countries.

It was reported that PCB Chief Najam Sethi had an informal discussion with Bangladeshi Cricket Board President Nazmul Hasan Papon. There is no confirmation from either cricket boards.

According to a section in Pakistan media, these are planted stories by PCB. In the recently held ICC Board meeting in Dubai, BCCI assured PCB officials that visa issues for the Pakistan squad will be sorted and the Indian cricket board has assured all assistance.

The top brass in BCCI circles understands that this is a pressure put by the PCB to host the entire Asia Cup in Pakistan, which isn’t being looked upon as a feasible solution.

“We understand that this is a kind of pressure tactic applied by PCB because of the Asia Cup issue. But let me tell you, ultimately, Asia Cup will also be played in UAE or Qatar and probably Pakistan will also have to play its matches in one of these countries,” a BCCI source said to PTI.

Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chairman and BCCI secretary Jay Shah has already made it clear that India is not travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup and that it will be held at a neutral venue.

As far as Pakistan playing its Asia Cup games in Pakistan is concerned, the budget for the tournament is passed by the Asian Cricket Council. If ACC says that it’s not a commercially viable proposition to hold Asia Cup in two countries, how can Pakistan play its games at home. ACC, for all you know, might not pass the budget.

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