Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has said that it will not be easy for India to back out of the global events held in Pakistan. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced a schedule for the new cycle for the period 2024-2031. Amongst the 14 countries set to host the ICC events, Pakistan will host the 2025 Champions Trophy.
The ICC event returns to Pakistan for the first time after 1996. Before the Champions Trophy, Pakistan are also due to host the Asia Cup in 2023. Union Ministry of youth affairs and sports ministry Anurag Thakur had earlier said the decision on India’s participation in the Champions Trophy set to be held in Pakistan will be hands of the Indian government. Raja though feels since it’s an ICC event, it will be a difficult task for India not to play in Pakistan.
“It is hard to get a bilateral series with India, but tri-nation series can be held at some point,” said the PCB chief in a virtual interaction with the press. “As far as the international tournaments are concerned, it is not easy to pull out. Because in that case, there is pressure. And all these things are presented to the boards, and I don’t think this will happen.”
Raja further opined that he has spoken to BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on numerous matters, and he feels there should be a benefit to everyone and the world cricket should move in the correct direction.
“With regards to my working relationship with Sourav Ganguly, I have that. We spoke about numerous things and how can we take world cricket forward. There should be a benefit for everyone since cricketers are holding these positions, and it is easier to talk since the bond is there.”
India and Pakistan don’t play bilateral series due to political tension. Raja admitted things won’t move swiftly if the problem persists. “It won’t be easy, and as long as there are political hurdles involved, things won’t move forward,” he added.