If Asia Cup 2023 is moved out of Pakistan, we might consider pulling out as well- PCB chief Ramiz Raja
PCB chief says if India remain stern on their stance of not traveling to Pakistan, so be it; but if the tournament moves out of the country for any reason, Pakistan could consider not playing it.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief, Ramiz Raja has cleared that if Pakistan loses the hosting right or if the event is hosted anywhere other than Pakistan, they will consider pulling out of the tournament. Speaking to the media ahead of Pakistan’s Test against England in Rawalpindi, Ramiz said Pakistan didn’t plead for the hosting rights of next year’s Asia Cup. He further said if India remain stern on their stance of not traveling to Pakistan, so be it; but if the tournament moves out of the country for any reason, Pakistan could consider not playing it.
"It's not as if we don't have hosting rights and we're pleading to host it," Ramiz told media ahead 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."
With India and Pakistan not playing any bilateral series owing to the political situation in both countries, these arch-rivals only face off in the ICC events or Asia Cup. This year, three India vs Pakistan matches took place, twice in Asia Cup, which was held in the UAE, and once at the MCG during the T20 World Cup where India won by five wickets.
Commenting on the issues relating to bilateral cricket and hosting great teams in Pakistan so far, Ramiz said, “We've shown we can host great teams. 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."
Pakistan currently is hosting England for a home Test series for the first time in 17 years while India is in Bangladesh for the ODIs and Tests.