Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Ehsanur Rehman Mazari has confirmed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee to discuss the participation of the Pakistan cricket team in the upcoming World Cup in India.
The committee, coordinated by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi, will make recommendations on the team’s visit to India, but the final decision will be made at the Prime Minister’s House.
The tournament is scheduled to take place from October 5 to November 19. The decision of Pakistan’s participation and whether Pakistan’s cricket team will travel to India or not is still undetermined.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant government departments are currently conducting necessary assessments before approving the team to travel to India. The uncertainty surrounding the team’s participation in the World Cup tournament has left the players unsure and unaware of the specific venues they might play at if they do go to India.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formally requested clearance from the government for the team to visit India for the World Cup, and they have sought advice on various aspects of playing at the designated venues.
Last Saturday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that it had sent letters to PM Shehbaz Sharif, who is the patron-in-chief of the PCB, as well as two government departments, after the International Cricket Council (ICC) released the official schedule for the 50-over World Cup. The schedule indicates that Pakistan will play their matches at five venues: Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, and Kolkata. The PCB had requested the government’s guidance on various matters concerning playing at each of these venues.
If the Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team reaches the semi-finals of the World Cup, they will not play in Mumbai, which is one of the venues for the last four matches. Instead, the team will play the match in Kolkata. This decision was made after the International Cricket Council (ICC) accepted the demand of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to avoid Mumbai as one of Pakistan’s destinations.
In addition, the issue of hosting the Asia Cup caused a dispute between Pakistan and India, resulting in the tournament’s matches being split between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. India will play their matches at neutral venues in Sri Lanka.
Zaka Ashraf, the interim chief of the PCB management committee and the prime minister’s nominee for PCB chairman, stated that he would respect the hybrid model agreed upon by his predecessor but indicated that the decision to send the team to the World Cup would be made after appropriate consultations. Rehman expressed his belief that if the Indian team visits Pakistan for the Asia Cup, then Pakistan should visit India, but if India chooses a neutral venue, Pakistan should do the same.