PCB proposes 2025 Champions Trophy start on February 19, rejects hybrid model for Indian matches | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) presented a proposal aimed at ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will begin on February 19 and will take place entirely in Pakistan. The CCP firmly rejected the idea of ​​a hybrid model for India's matches, similar to the arrangement made for the 2023 Asia Cup.
According to the timetable proposed by the PCB, the ICC Champions Trophy The year 2025 will span from February 19 to March 9, 2025, and all matches will take place in three major Pakistani cities: Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore.
Sources within the PCB revealed that International Cricket Council (CPI), who recently visited Pakistan to evaluate the preparations for the tournament, expressed their satisfaction with the arrangements in place.
The PCB has notably taken a strong stance against the idea of ​​a hybrid model, particularly for India's matches, insisting that all matches should be played on Pakistani soil.
This stance is likely to elicit a targeted response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who had previously suggested a hybrid model in which India's matches would be played at neutral venues outside Pakistan, similar to the arrangement made during the 2023 Asia Cup, when India's matches were transferred to Sri Lanka.
However, Pakistan remains firm on its stance, wanting all matches, including those involving India, to be played within its borders.
“We have not opted for the hybrid model. However, we have given this leverage so that India's matches can be played only in Lahore. This way, the team will not have to travel to cities across Pakistan and their security can be well ensured in Lahore,” said a source at the PCB.
“India can be based in Lahore for the entire tournament. This would minimize the logistical and security complications of traveling between cities,” the source added.
The Indian team might find it more convenient and less difficult to participate in matches as the special arrangements would allow them to play in a single city. This could potentially simplify their travel and logistical requirements throughout the tournament.
“Lahore’s proximity to Wagah Border the crossover will also be more tailored to Indian fans. However, the question remains whether India would accept and participate in the event,” the PCB source said.
According to the PCB's suggested itinerary for the Champions Trophy, Karachi will host at least three matches, including the tournament opener and a semi-final.
Lahore is expected to host at least seven matches, including the final. Rawalpindi will host no less than five matches, including a semi-final.
It is worth noting that the Indian cricket team has not set foot in Pakistan since its participation in the 2008 Asia Cup. The decision regarding India's trip to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy will be taken by the Indian government, which objected to the cricket team crossing the border due to Pakistan's alleged involvement in supporting terrorism within Indian borders.
The ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will mark the first time that Pakistan will be the sole host of a major international cricket event. In the past, Pakistan shared hosting duties with India and Sri Lanka for the 1996 Cricket World Cup and, before that, co-hosted the Reliance Cup alongside India in 1987 .
(With IANS entries)

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