Pakistan won’t play in Ahmedabad unless they are in WC final – Najam Sethi to ICC bosses
Pakistan Cricket Board expressed security concerns over World Cup 2023 match in Ahmedabad.
According to sources, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, has conveyed his concerns to his ICC counterpart, Greg Barclay, regarding the World Cup match against arch-rivals India at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. Initially reported by PTI, the PCB prefers to have their matches scheduled in Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
PCB Chairman Conveys Pakistan’s Preference for Venues and Knock-out Matches
Barclay and ICC General Manager Geoff Allardice recently visited Karachi to obtain assurance from the PCB Chairman that Pakistan would not insist on playing their ODI World Cup matches at a neutral venue. This assurance was sought because the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is poised to reject Pakistan’s request to host the Asia Cup based on a ‘Hybrid Model’.
As per a senior source within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB),”Sethi has conveyed to Barclay and Allardice that, “Pakistan doesn’t want its matches to be scheduled in Ahmedabad unless it is a knock-out game like final.”
“He requested ICC to schedule their games in Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata if the national team gets clearance from the Pakistan government to travel to India for the global event scheduled in October and November,” the source added.
Despite the Pakistan Cricket Board’s concerns about player security in Ahmedabad, it is worth noting that the Inzamam ul Haq-led team had previously played at the Motera during their 2005 tour of India.
Sethi Urges ICC to Advocate for Pakistan’s Hybrid Model for Asia Cup
The PCB representative further disclosed that Najam Sethi has requested ICC officials to persuade the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to agree to Pakistan’s proposed Hybrid Model for the Asia Cup. However, it appears unlikely that this proposal will be accepted. Additionally, it has been confirmed that Sethi has emphasized that Pakistan will not accept the new revenue-sharing model unless their share is increased in the upcoming five-year cycle.
“Sethi pointed out that it was unfair that Pakistan should get a lesser share of the ICC revenues in the new cycle compared to Australia and England,” the source said.
“Sethi argued that Australia and England regularly get to play bilateral series with India and their players also take part in the Indian Premier League which means extra revenues for the two boards from the IPL management,” he added.
BCCI and ICC officials to finalize World Cup schedule in London
While in London for the World Test Championship Final, officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) are anticipated to conclude the schedule and venues for the upcoming World Cup. This finalized plan will then be circulated to the member and participating countries in the following days.