PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf Again Makes Controversial Move In ICC Meeting Regarding World Cup 2023 Venue

The issue of hosting rights has once again taken center stage as Pakistan plans to request that their 2023 World Cup matches be played at a neutral venue. This move comes in response to India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup, which resulted in a hybrid model for the tournament. Pakistan’s cricket board has reignited the debate over hosting rights, despite the confirmed dates, by demanding that their World Cup matches also be held at a neutral venue

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Zaka Ashraf, is scheduled to make this request during an upcoming ICC meeting in Durban. According to the current schedule, Pakistan is slated to play their World Cup matches in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. The highly anticipated India-Pakistan clash is set to take place in Ahmedabad, while Pakistan’s semi-final match is scheduled for Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens.

The tension between India and Pakistan in the realm of cricket dates back several decades. The political and historical complexities surrounding the two nations have often spilled over into the sporting arena, particularly during high-stakes matches between the arch-rivals. This rivalry has resulted in several disruptions and relocations of matches in the past due to security concerns and diplomatic tensions.

Pakistan has not traveled to India for any cricket assignment since the 2016 T20 World Cup. Even during that tournament, the India-Pakistan match had to be relocated from Dharmashala to Kolkata at the last minute. Pakistan’s cricket authorities have cited security reasons as the primary concern, pointing to past incidents and the prevailing political atmosphere between the two nations.

With the upcoming 2023 World Cup being held in India, Pakistan is seeking a similar arrangement to what was implemented for the Asia Cup. The PCB is requesting that their World Cup matches also be played at a neutral venue to ensure the safety and security of their players. By making this demand, Pakistan hopes to address the apprehensions that have prevented them from playing cricket matches in India for the past several years.

ICC World Cup 2023 Schedule Announced, Click Here To Check Full Schedule

The demand for neutral venues raises significant challenges for the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the respective cricket boards involved. Finding suitable neutral venues that can accommodate World Cup matches at short notice may prove to be a logistical challenge. Additionally, hosting matches at neutral venues could potentially impact the revenue generated by the host country, affecting various stakeholders, including broadcasters and sponsors.

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