Pakistan threatens to pull out of Asia Cup 2023 in case of venue change
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Pakistan threatens to pull out of Asia Cup 2023 in case of venue change: Ramiz Raja, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, has asserted boldly that his team would consider pulling out of the Asia Cup 2023 if the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) moves the tournament to a neutral venue. The India-Pakistan tussle for the Asia Cup 2023 is far from settlement and there is a lot to see in the coming few months as we head closer to the tournament.

On the sidelines of the Pakistan-England Test series, Raja said his country has won the rights to host Asia Cup 2023 fair and square and they won’t back down on it.

“It’s not as if we don’t have hosting rights and we’re pleading to host it,” Ramiz said on the sidelines of the Pakistan-England Test in Rawalpindi. “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.”

Earlier, PCB had also threatened to renounce its Asian Cricket Council (ACC) membership following Jay Shah’s, who is ACC President and BCCI secretary, remark that the Asia Cup 2023 would be shifted to a neutral venue.

After the annual general meeting of the BCCI, Jay Shah said, “the Asia Cup 2023 will be held at a neutral venue.” Following this statement, India’s union minister of Sports, Anurag Thakur said that India’s visit to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023 would completely rely on clearance from the home ministry.

Of late Pakistan has successfully hosted a couple of giant cricket teams to once again establish friendly playing conditions in their country. Recently they hosted Australia and now their home test series with England is underway.

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Raza questioned ACC’s intentions of rewarding the hosting rights of the prestigious Asia Cup 2023 to Pakistan and then trying to snatch it away. 

“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,” said Raza.

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that efforts should be made to resume bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan. He mentioned that he was enormously loved in India by the fans when he was a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a commentator. Moreover, the fans want to see India-Pakistan play on the field.

“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 [as a commentator]. I know the fans want to see India against Pakistan. You saw what happened in the World Cup – 90,000 fans turned up [at MCG].”

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