Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has said India is a major power in the world of sports and no country can overlook the country. He was responding to a query about remarks of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja that if India does not come for Asia Cup, Pakistan won’t go for 2023 World Cup to be hosted by India. “Wait for the right time. India is a major power in the world of sports & no country can overlook India,” Thakur said.
Ramiz Raja says that if India don’t play the Asia Cup in Pakistan, Pakistan won’t play the World Cup in India next year.#Cricket pic.twitter.com/8IizhYGN2E
— Grassroots Cricket (@grassrootscric) November 25, 2022
Earlier in October, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had indicated that Asia Cup could be held at a neutral venue. After Shah’s remarks about holding Asia Cup at a neutral venue, PCB issued a statement it can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 “The overall impact of such statements has the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities and can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle,” PCB said, Following PCB’s statement, Thakur had said that India will host the 2023 WC with all teams.
“It is an internal matter of BCCI and it will handle the issue smartly. We have not done anything wrong yet while hosting international tournaments before. We have hosted World Cup successfully before and all teams participated happily. We will host the tournament next year and all teams will play in it,” Thakur had said in October.
BCCI President Roger Binny also said that touring Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023 is not the board’s call, but they will rely on the government’s decision.
“That is not our call. We cannot say where our team has to go. We need to take clearance from the government if we leave the country, or other countries come here. We cannot take that decision on our own, we have to rely on the government,” Binny had said.
2023 will mark the first time ever that India will host the marquee cricketing event by itself. It co-hosted the 1987 World Cup with Pakistan and the 1996 World Cup with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The tournament made its return to India in 2011 when it co-hosted it along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India also emerged victorious in the 2011 edition of the tournament.