Lahore: Greg Barclay, and George Allardice, have visited Lahore to seek assurances from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The move comes in response to PCB chief Najam Sethi’s statement that Pakistan would not participate in the World Cup if India does not visit Pakistan for the preceding Asia Cup.
The concern revolves around the hybrid model proposed by Sethi for the Asia Cup, which could potentially be extended to the World Cup. This is an important concern for ICC as they know the popularity of India Pakistan matches in the World Cup. Sethi has suggested that if the Pakistan government does not grant clearance or has security concerns about sending the team to India, the PCB may request the ICC to hold Pakistan’s matches at a neutral venue.
However, the ICC and the BCCI are keen on Pakistan’s full participation in matches in India to ensure the success of the Indo-Pakistan encounters and the tournament itself. BCCI secretary Jay Shah has expressed reluctance in accepting the hybrid model for the Asia Cup and has proposed hosting three or four matches in Pakistan and the remaining games in the UAE or Sri Lanka.
Sethi has repeatedly stated that if the Asia Cup is moved to a neutral country, Pakistan will not participate. The ICC officials are working as intermediaries between the PCB and BCCI to resolve the issues concerning the Asia Cup and World Cup.