The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Mr Ramiz Raja, is not taking things easy when it comes to the biased comments from the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). Mr Jay Shah, the secretary of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), who is also the chairman of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), in October, announced a unanimous decision that India won’t travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023, despite the fact that the event was gifted to Pakistan for hosting by entire ACC unit.
Raja, responding strongly to BCCI, had said India could opt out of the tournament, but Asia Cup 2023, would not move to any neutral venue. Recently making statements on the fuss when asked about it, Raja said BCCI is acting like PCB is forcing to host Asia Cup 2023, and the board does not have the rights to host it. He further clarified if the decision to move the event somewhere else is made, it would be the PCB to opt out of the tournament.
“It’s not as if we don’t have the rights to host, and we’re pleading to host it. We won the rights fair and square. If India doesn’t come, they won’t come. If the Asia Cup gets taken away from Pakistan, maybe we’re the ones that pull out.”
Answering Jay’s security comments on Pakistan, Ramiz emphasized that Pakistan have hosted multiple events in the recent past. Notably, they have successfully hosted England for a seven-match t20I series and are once again hosting three Tests. While telling BBC’s Test match special, the PCB chairman said,
“We’ve shown we can host great teams. I can understand issues relating to bilateral cricket, but the Asia Cup is a multi-nation tournament, almost as big as the World Cup for the Asian bloc.
He queries why Asia Cup was awarded to Pakistan for hosting, including the mutual decision of ACC officials, including Jay, if India has had planned such excuses. His statements further read,
“Why give it to us in the first place and then make all those statements about India not travelling to Pakistan? I accept that India won’t come because the government won’t allow them to come – fine. But to take the Asia Cup away from the host on that basis isn’t right.”
“Common sense. There is no contest if India and Pakistan are not playing. I have mentioned it so many times. I have always been loved in India; I’ve done so many IPL editions. I know the fans want to see India against Pakistan.
Ramiz concluded by emphasizing the importance and craze of Indo-Pak cricket and gave an example of the number of fans present at MCG for the Pak vs Ind World Cup match. He said measures were taken, and rivals like US and Iran ended up playing in Fifa World Cup, but India and Pakistan could not.
“You saw what happened in the World Cup – 90,000 fans turned up [at MCG]. I am just a little disappointed with the ICC. When the point was put to the FIFA president why is the US playing Iran, Iran has so many issues regarding women’s rights, he picked up the football and said this could solve a lot of issues. Through sports, we can take care of the tribe mentality. I feel let bat and ball talk.
“What happens if the government of Pakistan doesn’t allow Pakistan to travel to India because of security issues? It is quite an emotional subject here. The debate was started by BCCI in a way. We had to respond. Test cricket needs India v Pakistan.”