Pakistan was set to host the 2023 Asia Cup, but considering the tense political ties between the two nations, there were always doubts about whether India would go there. When he announced a few days prior that India would not be traveling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, Jay Shah, the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India, confirmed the fears. As a result, the tournament will take place at a neutral location.
Several former Pakistani players criticized this choice, and the Pakistan Cricket Board threatened to boycott the 2023 ODI World Cup in India in retribution. Shahid Afridi, a former captain of Pakistan, has now jumped on board, claiming that BCCI made a choice in a hurry.
Shahid Afridi said on ABP news, “Yaha pe BCCI ne thoda bachkana harqat ki hai. Thoda time le lete, koi baat nahi agar decision unhe yahi lena tha World Cup k baad le lete. India-Pakistan ka World Cup ka match, usse pahle is tarike ka bayan dena mere khayal se jaldbaazi thi. Hamesha hamare relation ko cricket ne accha banaya hai. Humne jis tarha India ko welcome kia 2003-04 mein phir hum jab India gaye toh jis tarha hame welcome ki gaya wo dono desho k relation ko mazboot karta hai. Jitni cricket hogi utni relationship behtar rahenge. (BCCI gave a childish statement. They should have taken some time. There was a World Cup match coming up, before that, there was no need for such a statement. Cricket has always unified India and Pakistan, bringing the two nations closer. I remember how the Indian team was welcomed in Pakistan in 2003-04 and then when we went to India what a warm welcome we got. The more India and Pakistan play, the stronger their relations will be,) .”
Shahid Afridi has also suggested that Pakistan leave the ACC because they too have a significant influence on this choice.
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He added, “ACC ka role ismein bohut zyada hai. Agar India nahi hai Asia Cup khelne jo ki nahi hona chaie, unhe ana chaie. But agar nahi ate toh Pakistan ke paas option hai ACC se bahar jane ka. Agar hamari batein nahi suni ja rahi toh hume alag rakh lena chaie ACC se. (ICC has a big role to play here. If India don’t come to play Asia Cup then Pakistan have the option of pulling out of ACC.”