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“Not easy for India to opt-out”: Ramiz Raja on India coming to Pakistan for ICC tournaments

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Pakistani cricket fans were left disappointed when the New Zealand and England cricket teams abandoned the 2021 tours. NewZealand was hours away from playing the ODI in Rawalpindi stadium but decided to leave Pakistan due to security concerns. The happy news came to the fans when Pakistan was awarded two ICC tournaments. Asia Cup and Champions Trophy are to be hosted by Pakistan in 2023 and 2025 respectively.

The Indian team has not toured Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai attacks. For many years, India and Pakistan have only clashed in the ICC tournaments. Now that the ICC tournaments are going to be held in Pakistan, it is interesting to see whether India will decide to participate or opt out of them.

During the Press Conference, one of the reporters did ask the PCB chairman whether India can opt of ICC tournament in Pakistan to which the PCB chairman replied that the pressure in on the arch-rivals. In his own words, “Pressure is not on us anymore. The pressure will be on India (to opt out) because it is an international commitment and I feel India should comply with it.”

The last time two sides met in the bilateral series, it was in India in 2012 – 2013 when they played 3 T20 and 3 ODI match series. Tensions soared between the two nations owing to an attack on the border where Indian soldiers were martyred.

During this year’s T20 World Cup when the BCCI and PCB Supremo were in Dubai, Ganguly said that resumption of ties between both boards is not in his or Ramiz’s hands. Raja has stated time and again that politics need to stay at bay as the series is one of the most watch cricketing matches across the world. If we talk about the longevity of the Ashes and India- Pakistan series, the former wins but the latter has always been in front in terms of crowd-pulling and revenue generation.

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