Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had earlier in the month indicated that the Asia Cup will be moved from Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates rather than the Indian team travelling there. Shah’s comment infuriated PCB because of the timing of the statement and the change in location. Shah is also the president of the Asian Cricket Council. Ramiz Raja, the head of the PCB, finally broke his silence on the subject after addressing it in a recent interview.
Amit Shah said during 91st Annual General Meeting in Mumbai, “Neutral venue for Asia Cup is not unprecedented and we have decided that we will not travel to Pakistan. It’s the govt which decides over the permission of our team visiting Pakistan so we won’t comment on that but for the 2023 Asia Cup, it is decided that the tournament will be held at a neutral venue.”
In addition to hosting the Asia Cup in 2019, Pakistan is also slated to host the Champions Trophy in 2025, according to the FTP. The Champions Trophy will be the first ICC event scheduled in Pakistan since the reinstatement of international cricket in that nation.
Ramiz fired shots at the BCCI and the Indian team in an interview with Urdu News, making it clear that Babar Azam’s team wouldn’t be visiting India for the World Cup in 2019 if the Rohit Sharma-led team didn’t come to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.
He said, “If Pakistan doesn’t take part in the World Cup scheduled in India next year, who will watch it? We have a clear stand: If the Indian team comes here then we will go for the World Cup. If they don’t come then they can play the World Cup without us. We will adopt an aggressive approach. Our team is showing performance. I’ve always said we need to improve the economy of Pakistan cricket, and that can only happen when we perform well. In the 2021 T20 World Cup, we beat India. We beat India in the T20 Asia Cup. In one year, the Pakistan cricket team defeated a billion dollar economy team twice.”