‘We Will Not Participate Neither In Asia Cup Nor In World Cup’: Pakistan Sports Minister’s Statement Sparks New Controversy

In a significant development, Ehsaan Mazari, the Sports Minister of Pakistan, has issued a strong statement asserting that Pakistan will boycott the ICC World Cup 2023, to be held in India, if the neighboring country declines to travel for the Asia Cup matches in Pakistan. Mazari’s comments come amidst escalating tensions between the cricketing rivals, further straining bilateral sporting relations.

Expressing his personal opinion on the matter, Mazari, who oversees the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), emphasized the need for parity and fairness. He stated, “If India wants to play their Asia Cup games at a neutral venue, we would also demand that our World Cup games are held at a neutral venue.” This statement implies that Mazari is willing to leverage Pakistan’s participation in the ICC World Cup as a bargaining chip, should India refuse to play in Pakistan.

Mazari’s remarks followed the formation of a committee by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, tasked with making a decision on Pakistan’s participation in the global event. The committee, led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and comprising 11 ministers, including Mazari, will provide their recommendations to the Prime Minister.

The Sports Minister vehemently rejected the proposed hybrid model for the Asia Cup, which was put forward during Najam Sethi’s tenure as PCB Chairman. Asserting Pakistan’s right to host all matches in their own country, Mazari stated, “Pakistan is the host and has the right to hold all the matches in Pakistan. That is what the cricket fans want. I am against a hybrid model.”

The escalating tensions and the potential boycott by Pakistan have raised concerns within the cricketing community. The International Cricket Council (ICC) will closely monitor the situation and engage in diplomatic efforts to ensure the smooth conduct of the upcoming tournaments.

The Asia Cup, originally scheduled to take place in September 2023, is at risk of disruption if the deadlock between India and Pakistan persists. The implications of a Pakistan boycott could further complicate matters and have far-reaching consequences for the sport in the region.

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

The ICC World Cup, one of cricket’s most prestigious events, is slated to be held in India in 2023. Any potential boycott by Pakistan would not only cast a shadow over the tournament but also impact the bilateral cricketing ties between the two nations.

As the cricketing world awaits a resolution, the focus now turns to the committee’s recommendations and the response from the Indian cricket authorities. The decisions made in the coming weeks will have a profound impact on the future of cricketing relations between India and Pakistan.

It remains to be seen whether diplomatic efforts and negotiations can defuse the current tensions and pave the way for a peaceful and inclusive cricketing environment in the subcontinent.

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