“We will not play the Asia Cup if…” PCB Chief Najam Sethi’s Provided Stunning Reply Over Asia Cup And World Cup 2023

On Friday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi categorically said that the Pakistani team will go to India to play the ODI World Cup only when the Indian team crosses the border to play the upcoming Asia Cup and 2025 Champions Trophy. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) recently rejected the “hybrid model”. In such a situation, Najam Sethi believes that this is the only option until India and Pakistan start playing in each other’s country.

Question: What is the status of the Asia Cup, and what was the reaction of ACC to your proposed hybrid model?

Answer: In the current situation, we have clarified that four matches should be played in Pakistan, and the remaining matches can be played at a neutral venue. The Asian Cricket Council can take two decisions. Either they agree and prepare the schedule according to my proposal or say all matches will be played at a neutral venue. Everything will be solved if you take the first option. We will not play the Asia Cup if we choose the second option. We are waiting for the reply of Jay Shah and others.

Question: Does it make sense for Pakistan to stay in the ACC if they don’t play the Asia Cup?

Answer: ACC has to think about this. The next president of ACC will be from PCB. Now it’s our turn. We want to remain in ACC, or rather, we can say that ACC cannot happen without Pakistan. ACC gets maximum revenue from India and Pakistan only. If Pakistan does not play in the Asia Cup, then the broadcaster Star Network may face problems. That’s why India and Pakistan are important for Asia Cup and ACC. That’s why I proposed the hybrid model. If we do not go to play India, then there will be a problem, and if the Indian team does not come to Pakistan to play the Champions Trophy, there will also be a problem.

Question: The Indian team is not going to Pakistan due to political tension, but after the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, do you think other teams will come there in the current security situation?

Answer: Imran Khan’s protest has been going on for six months. The New Zealand national team played in Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi. This is not an issue. These teams were given VVIP security. Even if there is a problem in Islamabad, it can be played in Pindi, Multan, Lahore and Karachi. Asia Cup will be in September, and do you think Pakistan will be burning at that time, and we will not be able to play cricket? If the situation is like this, then I would say that the match should be held at a neutral venue. We also do not want our honourable guests to face riots after coming to Pakistan. We care about them.

Question: If the ACC agrees to the hybrid model of four matches, will Pakistan play the World Cup in India on the hybrid model?

Answer: At present, the issue is the Asia Cup. I want the hybrid model to be adopted and successful. If the Indian team does not come to play the Champions Trophy, we will have a problem. If Pakistan does not play in India, then there will be problems. The real problem is the refusal of the Indian team to come to Pakistan. Either we don’t play with each other or find a middle ground. India and Pakistan do not play in each other’s country in all tournaments. No big deal. Despite this, the game can happen.

Question: Why can’t Ahmedabad be a venue for the India vs Pakistan match, as Pakistan played at the same venue in 2005?

Answer: I never said that. I have said that nobody from BCCI has asked us anything about Ahmedabad. You are asking me whether we will play in Ahmedabad, but I am telling you, the real question is whether we will play in India. If India plays in Pakistan, we will play in India. But if India doesn’t play in Pakistan, then why should we play in India? But if India doesn’t play in Pakistan, then why should we play in India? So my solution is India vs Pakistan matches should be played at a neutral venue. We will come to Ahmedabad if India comes to Pakistan. We will provide VVIP security at every venue, and I dare say we go to India on mutual terms; if India asks us to play in Ahmedabad in return, we will have no problem. We will play wherever we play; we expect they will provide us security, just like India wants us to provide security at any place if India has to play in Pakistan. So Ahmedabad is not an issue. 

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