Najam Sethi, the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has announced that the decision on whether to send the Pakistan team to India for the ODI World Cup in 2023 will be made at the government level. The previous PCB chairman, Ramiz Raja, had threatened to boycott the tournament unless India agreed to play the Asia Cup in Pakistan beforehand.
However, the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) and BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) announced in October that the Asia Cup, which was scheduled to be hosted in Pakistan, would be held at a neutral venue due to the Indian team’s refusal to travel to Pakistan. This led to backlash from Ramiz Raja and a stern letter from the PCB to the ACC. Sethi emphasized that government approval is required for all decisions regarding Pakistan and India’s cricket relations.
Najam Sethi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has stated that he has no objections to Ramiz Raja returning to the commentary box. Sethi also defended the decision of the current Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, to remove Raja as PCB chairman. He stated that the prime minister has the right to choose their own candidate to oversee cricket affairs and that he himself resigned as chairman in 2018 when Imran Khan’s government came into power.
Sethi also revealed that he has been in touch with former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur and is interested in bringing him back to the team. He praised Arthur’s work with the team, stating that he helped develop Babar Azam and maintained discipline and fitness among the players. The situation with Arthur’s return will be clearer in the next week or so, according to Sethi.
It is important to note that the decision to send the Pakistan team to India for the ODI World Cup is a significant one, as it involves the possibility of reviving cricketing ties between the two countries. Cricket has a long and storied history in both Pakistan and India, and the rivalry between the two national teams is one of the most intense and celebrated in the sport. However, due to political tensions and security concerns, the two countries have not played a full series against each other since 2007. The ODI World Cup provides an opportunity for the two countries to come together and compete on the cricket field, and it is hoped that such a high-profile event will help to improve relations between the two nations.