Asia Cup 2023: Pakistan proposes 'hybrid model' to hold India's matches at neutral venue

PCB chairman Najam Sethi believes India should employ the same hybrid experiment for the 50-over World Cup, which will be held in India in October-November this year

By ANI

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Pakistan Cricket Board's management committee chairman Najam Sethi. — AFP
Pakistan Cricket Board's management committee chairman Najam Sethi. — AFP

Published: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 7:39 PM

Last updated: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 7:48 PM

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recommended to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) a "hybrid model" for the 2023 Asia Cup, in which Pakistan will play its Asia Cup matches at home and India plays its matches at a neutral venue," PCB chairman Najam Sethi said on Friday, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

Last October, the PCB was caught off guard by Jay Shah, who stated that the 2023 Asia Cup would be held at a "neutral" venue. The PCB, under the then chairman Ramiz Raja, promptly responded that Pakistan will withdraw from the competition if it was taken outside of the nation.


However, with Pakistan aiming to host as much of the tournament as possible, Sethi anticipated that the presence of his country's foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, to Goa next month for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council meeting would help find a solution.

"We have been told that, maybe, the ice will keep on melting — if this happens when the Champions Trophy is held in Pakistan in 2025, India would consider playing in Pakistan. We have been advised to play the Asia Cup at a neutral venue and also go to India for the World Cup," ESPNcricinfo quotes Sethi saying at a press interaction.


According to Sethi, the prevalent opinion in Pakistan is that his team should play cricket on equal terms with India.

"Our government has imposed no restrictions about playing against India. But I can say right now that public mood is: we are not needy and we can stand on our own feet financially and we want to play cricket with India honourably. We are also negotiating with the ACC," Sethi said.

If Pakistan decides to move all India matches in the Asia Cup to a neutral venue, Sethi believes India should employ the same hybrid experiment for the 50-over World Cup, which will be held in India in October-November this year.

"We feel this hybrid experiment can also be applied when it is time for the World Cup. Our stance is that everything should be on a reciprocal basis. In the old times, yes, there were security issues in Pakistan. But now there are no issues, so what is India's excuse for not playing in Pakistan?" Sethi said.

The Asia Cup will include six teams — Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and one team that will be identified after the qualifiers.

India will host the Cricket World Cup across October and November this year while Pakistan is scheduled to host the Asia Cup 2023.

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