The Asia Cup row is yet to reach a conclusion with Pakistan still hoping they can host the 2023 edition of the tournament despite strong statements from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) amid the long-standing political tension between the two neighbouring countries. Veteran cricketers of either nation have given their verdict with former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh joining the bandwagon where he strongly sided with the BCCI.
Speaking to ANI, Harbhajan opined that the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team should not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup as he questioned the safety of the players in a nation where their very own people are unsafe.
He said, “India shouldn’t travel to Pakistan as it isn’t safe there and why are we taking risk of travelling when their own people do not feel secure in their country?”
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The Asia Cup row had started back in October last year when BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who is also the chairman of Asian Cricket Council, told the media that India won’t be travelling to Pakistan for the tournament and insisted on a change of venue. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) retaliated in response with a strongly-worded statement where they threatened to boycott the 2023 ODI World Cup if Pakistan are denied the hosting rights.
In the ACC meeting in Bahrain last month, the matter was expected to be closed but there was no official announcements made. Reports however claimed that UAE has emerged as an alternate venue for Asia Cup 2023 although Pakistan would retain the hosting rights for the event.
Asia Cup row is likely to end this weekend in Dubai in the ICC board meeting.
“We have complex issues on hand but for me when I go to the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) and ICC meetings I have kept all options open for us and we have to take a clear position now,” PCB head Najam Sethi had said at a press conference earlier this week.