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Friday, June 14, 2024  
07 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Pakistan’s participation still ‘doubtful’ in World Cup to be played in India

Government has so far not issued NOC to PCB, say sources

The federal government’s reservations over the security of the national cricket team in the ODI World Cup, which would be played in India, still persist, sources told Aaj News.

The government has not issued a no-objection certificate to the national cricket board, sources said, citing atrocities “inflicted on Muslims” in India as the main reason.

India would host the quadrennial tournament for the fourth time in its history. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup would be played in October this year.

Pakistan has directly qualified for the 50-over mega event since the national side is ranked among the top seven teams in the ICC ranking.

Last month, media reports said that Pakistan would not travel to the neighbouring country for the ODI World Cup scheduled if the Indian cricket team does not go to Pakistan for the Asia Cup scheduled in September.

This was the position the Pakistan Cricket Board took at Saturday’s Asian Cricket Council (ACC) board meeting, an official present in the meeting told Hindustan Times. The BCCI officials were dismissive of the concern.

Tensions between the two countries have also affected cricket. Pakistan and India’s relations deteriorated when New Delhi scrapped the special status for occupied Kashmir in August 2019.

Islamabad suspended all bilateral trade with New Delhi as a result of the protest. Later, Pakistani artists were banned from working in the Indian film industry.

In January, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President Jay Shah presented the resenting the ACC’s pathway structure and cricket calendars for 2023 and 2024, which PCB Managing Committee Chairman Najam Sethi described as a unilateral decision.

“This signals our unparalleled efforts & passion to take this game to new heights. With cricketers across countries gearing up for spectacular performances, it promises to be a good time for cricket!” Shah said while sharing the calendar on January 5.

In reaction, Sethi reminded Shah that Pakistan was the host of the event.

“While you are at it, you might as well present structure & calendar of our PSL 2023! A swift response will be appreciated,” he said.

The ACC in a statement claimed that the calendar was communicated to all the participating members individually, including PCB, via an email on December 22nd, 2022.

“While responses were received from certain Member Boards, no comments or suggested modifications were received from PCB. In view of the above, Mr. Sethi’s comments on a social media platform are baseless and are vehemently denied by the ACC,” it said.

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