Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Chairman of the Management Committee, Najam Sethi, has warned India that if they continue with their inflexible stand on the hybrid model for Asia Cup 2023; they might have to face the consequences of Pakistan withdrawing from the World Cup 2023. Sethi said that Pakistan could accuse the Indian government of the home-side’s security concerns in India as well in response to the rigid stance of India.
Sethi also stated that Pakistan has come a long way since the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan in 2009. He stated that both countries have fought against terrorism, and after the previous attack, Pakistan has taken security measures to ensure the safety of international players.
However, Sethi made it clear that Pakistan would still be willing to go to India to play in the World Cup 2023 if India accepts the hybrid model for this season’s Asia Cup. In an interview with an Indian media outlet, Sethi also said that the political situation in Pakistan would settle down by September, which is the Asia Cup window. He further added that riots could happen anywhere and that it does not mean that the city has become unsafe.
Sethi was the one who was responsible for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan back in 2015 when Zimbabwe toured Lahore in 2015. Later on, under his presence as PCB chairman, the PSL final was held in Lahore in 2017, which was a star-studded event. Since then, Pakistan has been successfully hosting international cricket in the last four years, which included top cricket teams such as Australia, New Zealand, and England.
According to sources, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is most likely to call for a meeting this week to discuss the PCB-proposed hybrid model for hosting the Asian event. In the hybrid model offered by the PCB, India will play their matches at a neutral venue, whereas all other matches will be played in Pakistan in the first option. In the second option, four matches of the group stage in the first phase will take place in Pakistan, while the next stage matches including the final match will be played at a neutral venue. Sethi also urged the BCCI to accept the hybrid model as soon as possible so that they can mutually decide on the neutral venue accordingly.