PCB chairman states that Pakistan might refuse to participate in World Cup if Asian Cup is lost

Pakistan Cricket Board President Najam Sethi has said that there is a “very real possibility” of boycotting the 2021 World Cup in India if Pakistan is stripped of its right to host the Asian Cup. In recent years, bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan has ceased due to political tensions, with the two teams now only playing against each other in multi-team events at neutral venues. Ahead of the Asian Cup in September, the Pakistan Cricket Board has proposed a “hybrid model” of matches in the United Arab Emirates, with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also opposing hosting the tournament in the UAE due to heat and logistical concerns.

If India agrees to the “hybrid model,” Pakistan would expect reciprocity from the teams at the World Cup in October and November. However, Sethi said India wants the entire tournament to be moved from Pakistan. If this happens, it could potentially have serious implications for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan as well. Sethi accused the Indian Cricket Control Board of being “stubborn” and failing to turn India-Pakistan cricket into the biggest rivalry in the sport.

Pakistan has been working hard to bring international cricket back to the country since the Sri Lankan team bus attack in Lahore in 2009. The country has successfully hosted several major cricket events in recent years, and Sethi argued that Pakistan should not be ignored, as it is “the top country in cricket.” He urged the International Cricket Council to intervene, but speculated that India does not want the ICC to get involved, especially during the Asian Cup.

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