Pakistan may withdraw from next year’s ODI World Cup

Pakistan on Tuesday threatened to pull out of next year’s ODI World Cup in India, reacting strongly to BCCI secretary Jay Shah’s statement that the Asia Cup will be played at a neutral venue. According to the decision of the Executive Board of the Asian Cricket Council (SCC), Pakistan is to host the Asia Cup next year. Incidentally, Shah is the President of the Asian Cricket Council.

Shah told reporters after the BCCI’s annual general meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday that India will play the Asia Cup at a neutral venue. Sources close to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Rameez Raja indicated that he is contemplating pulling out of the ODI World Cup in India following Shah’s statement. PCB sources told PTI on condition of anonymity, “The PCB is now ready to take a tough decision as it also knows that the ICC and ACC will suffer if Pakistan does not play India in these major events.” ‘

India has played Pakistan in global or continental competitions but did not tour Pakistan after the 2008 Asia Cup. The Pakistan team last visited India in 2012 for a limited overs bilateral series. When contacted, the PCB declined to officially comment on Shah’s statement.

A PCB spokesperson said, “We have nothing to say yet but we will look into the circumstances and take up the matter at an appropriate forum such as the ICC Board meeting to be held in Melbourne next month.” And other senior officials are quite upset with Shah’s statement and have decided to take some tough decisions.

PCB sources said Rameez Raja will send a strong letter to the ACC on the issue and will demand an emergency meeting of the ACC in Melbourne next month to discuss Shah’s statement. Sources said, “One option that is being considered is to leave the ACC because when the ACC president makes such a statement, there is no point for Pakistan to continue in that institution.”

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