There have been reports that Pakistan is considering the possibility of playing its World Cup games in a neutral location.
The upcoming 2023 Asia Cup cricket competition may be moved from Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates or Qatar following tensions between the host country and neighbouring India, according to reports.
India had refused to travel to Pakistan for the tournament and sought a more “hybrid” model that would allow it to play its matches elsewhere. Meanwhile, Pakistan threatened to boycott the Asia Cup altogether.
Currently, Pakistan is reportedly investigating the option of holding their World Cup games in a neutral venue, as some reports pointed towards Bangladesh as a possible host.
However, according to a source from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Pakistan’s 2023 World Cup matches may not actually take place in Bangladesh as reported in the media.
The BCCI insider went on to tell the Press Trust of India (PTI) that the suggested plans are only ‘pressure tactics’ from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and there is a chance that the entire Asia Cup might be moved from Pakistan to the UAE or Qatar.
“We understand that this is a kind of pressure tactic applied by PCB because of the Asia Cup issue. But let me tell you, ultimately, Asia Cup will also be played in UAE or Qatar and probably Pakistan will also have to play its matches in one of these countries,” BCCI source said, as quoted by reports.
“As far as Pakistan playing its Asia Cup games in Pakistan is concerned, the budget for the tournament is passed by the Asian Cricket Council [ACC]. If ACC says that it’s not a commercially viable proposition to hold Asia Cup in two countries, how can Pakistan play its games at home. ACC, for all you know, might not pass the budget,” the BCCI source added.
The British colonial government divided the Indian subcontinent in a brutal process known as partition that gave rise to India and Pakistan around 76 years ago.
The west-enforced partition wreaked havoc, uprooting 15 million people and igniting sectarian violence that claimed approximately two million lives.
However, current tensions between the two nuclear-armed nations are mostly related to Kashmir’s disputed territory.
After 41 paramilitary members were killed in a suicide bombing in Kashmir in 2019 that was claimed by an armed organisation with ties to Pakistan, India vowed revenge, and the two countries were on the verge of war as a result of tit-for-tat air assaults.
Later that year, India abruptly suspended Kashmir’s constitutionally mandated limited autonomy, imprisoning thousands of political opponents there.
In addition to sending troops to supplement the estimated 500,000 security personnel already present, authorities imposed what ended up being the world’s longest internet ban.
Since 1990, tens of thousands of people have died in the revolt, mostly civilians.