Will Pakistan miss out on hosting the 2025 Champions Trophy? Report Says ‘ICC Will Never…’

Will Pakistan miss out on hosting the 2025 Champions Trophy?  The report says "The ICC will never..."

Babar Azam (left) and Rohit Sharma©AFP

A “hybrid model” to host next year’s Champions Trophy in Pakistan remains an option as India’s participation cannot be decided by the ICC if there is government policy against it, a a source in the all-powerful board of directors of the governing body told PTI on Friday. The ICC board meeting is currently taking place in Dubai. The Champions Trophy, to be held in February-March 2025, is not on the agenda, but new PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi said he wanted to speak on the sidelines with his counterpart in the BCCI, Jay Shah, as well as with the bigwigs of the ICC. a kind of insurance.

However, an ICC board member, aware of the developments, believes that any decision by the BCCI will only be taken closer to the tournament and, once again, the idea of Using the United Arab Emirates as a potential site cannot be entirely ruled out.

“Each member can raise their concerns at board meetings and then it will be put to a vote. But if the government (of a member country) specifically says they can’t play there, ICC will have to look for an alternative.” a senior director, who has attended several board meetings, told PTI on condition of anonymity.

“…because the position of the ICC Board remains that it does not expect its members to go against the policies/directions issued by its own government,” he said. -he declares.

Teams from England, Australia and New Zealand have all visited Pakistan recently and the BCCI will also be under pressure to visit the conflict-torn country as part of the multinational engagement.

When asked if any hesitation on India’s part would lead to a vote against the country, the source said such a situation would not arise if there was a government directive.

“Remember, the threat perception for an Indian cricket team will always be higher than that of Australia, England and New Zealand,” said a former BCCI official, who knows the inner workings of the world body.

Will diplomacy work? ============= In January-February, the Indian Davis Cup team was in Islamabad for their World Group play-off match and the players as well as support staff were happy with the arrangements of security.

However, the stakes are considerably higher when it comes to the Indian cricket team comprising superstars like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant.

“The BCCI would obviously be obliged to look at the matter from the point of view of the Pakistani government which allowed its team to participate in the World Cup in India last year.

“So given that it is a global event and not a continental event like the Asia Cup, the Indian government might take a softer stance. BCCI President Roger Binny and Vice-President Rajiv Shukla visited Pakistan during the Asia Cup,” the ICC board member hoped.

Hybrid model

The Champions Trophy, which began in 1998 as the ‘Mini World Cup’, is played between the top eight teams in the ICC ODI rankings. The last edition was held in 2017 in England and Wales and in the meantime the ICC was unable to fit the tournament into an already busy schedule for top cricket boards, who now also own leagues Lucrative T20s.

In 2023, after the Indian government did not allow its team to travel to Pakistan, the event was held under a “hybrid model”, with India playing all of its matches, including the two against Pakistan , in Sri Lanka.

With February and March being two ideal months to play cricket in the UAE and three international stadiums ready for use, this could well be the second country to adopt a ‘hybrid model’ in case India does not want to travel to the Pakistan.

The eight teams are expected to be divided into two groups and India’s group matches could well take place in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

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