BCCI secretary and president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Jay Shah’s bombshell remark in October on the 2023 Asia Cup, slated to held in Pakistan, has created quite a stir in world cricket. PCB countered the statement, threatening to pull out of the ODI World Cup scheduled to happen in India next year before PCB chairman Ramiz Raja reiterated the same while firing shots at BCCI. However, former Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Irfan has lashed out at the two boards over the row and has given a rather blunt take on it.
Shah had said back in October that the Indian team won’t be travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup and the tournament will be played at a neutral venue. PCB retaliated by saying that they would threaten to pull out of the ODI World Cup if BCCI stay firm on their words.
PCB chief on Friday admitted that Pakistan have no issue if India opt put of the Asia Cup, but might pull put of the tournament if ACC shifts the venue.
When asked about the ongoing war of words between the two boards, Irfan, in conversation with ANI slammed both BCCI and PCB and urged Pakistan to visit India for the World Cup and India to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.
“Pakistan should go to India & India should come to Pakistan to play. This increases love between people from both countries. Cricket should be separate from politics. Don’t go with statements that Pakistan won’t come to India, let the Board decide it,” he said.
“It’s not as if we don’t have hosting rights and we’re pleading to host it,” Ramiz had said on the sidelines of the ongoing Pakistan-England Test in Rawalpindi on Friday. “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.”
“We’ve shown we can host great teams,” Ramiz said. “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.
“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.”