Champions Trophy 2025: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday expressed its confidence in the team’s having absolutely zero reservations to visit Pakistan for the 2025 Champions Trophy tournament.
After getting sidelined for almost two decades, Pakistan earned the hosting rights of a massive ICC tournament in the recently announced programme. ICC has given the hosting rights of Champions Trophy 2025 to Pakistan following two decades of reluctance and scepticism.
To add more to Pakistani woes, the 2009 terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketer’s team bus in Lahore did the rest of the work to completely ignore Pakistan as a cricket hosting nation.
“The answer is, from what we can see so far, absolutely (teams will travel),” said ICC chairman Greg Barclay in response to ANI’s query during the media roundtable.
“ICC cricket event is coming back to Pakistan after many years. All of it with the exception of what happened in the last few weeks has gone ahead without any issues at all,” added Barclay, who was joined by ICC CEO Geoff Allardice.
New Zealand and England pulled out of their respective tours to Pakistan owing to the security concerns of their players. The kiwis withdrew from the series when they had just a couple of minutes left for the T20I series opener against Pakistan in September.
Will India participate in Champions Trophy 2025?
The major concern for the ICC would be India’s participation in the tournament. There is no secret to India’s long-standing standoffs with Pakistan near the borders. The two sides have consistently expressed their timidity to play against each other in bilateral series.
India and Pakistan only play each other in the multi-nation tournament and that too should be outside the geographical boundaries of Pakistan.
“Yeah, we know it is a particularly challenging issue to work through, but from my point of view, I can’t control geopolitical forces. I just hope cricket can be a force to help improve relations between countries. That is one great thing sport can do is to help people and nations come together,” added Barclay.
India’s Sport and Youth Minister Anurag Thakur clearly stated to take notice of all the factors before giving a nod to the Indian team to tour Pakistan for the 2025 Champions Trophy.
“When the time will come, the Indian government and the Home Ministry will take a decision. During the international championships, all the factors are looked upon,” said Anurag Thakur.
“Even in past, many countries have refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns. As you all know, many players were even attacked while playing over there and that’s a big issue to be dealt with,” he added.
India’s participation is a huge question as to the viewership, TRP and revenue of the ICC events are directly connected to it. India’s pull out of the tournament will led a huge decline in viewership and the total revenue earned by ICC.