With each passing day, the debates about whether the Indian cricket team will travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup are only heating up. It all started last time when ACC President Jay Shah wrote to the ICC asking for the possibility of hosting the Asia Cup.
Originally scheduled to be held in Pakistan, the PCB took exception to the fact that such a proposal had been made and threatened to retaliate by withdrawing the World Cup later this year. The two boards have alternated since then, but while Pakistan has insisted it would love to host India, the BCCI has remained firm in its stance.
India is believed to distrust Pakistan’s security
According to the latest development, the two boards were seemingly working on a hybrid model for the Asia Cup. According to her, the Asia Cup will remain with Pakistan, but India’s matches will be held at a neutral venue – probably either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. India is believed to distrust Pakistan’s security despite the fact that teams like England and Australia have played full-fledged series there, although some former cricketers feel there is more to it than meets the eye.
Imran Nazir is one such former Pakistan star who feels that the whole security issue is just a cover to mask India’s fear of facing Pakistan on their soil. He says “There is no security reason. Just look at how many teams have been in Pakistan. Forget the A teams, even to Australia. It’s all a cover-up. The truth is that India will not come to Pakistan [for the Asia Cup] because you are afraid losses. Security is just an excuse. Come and play cricket. Once you start playing politics, there is no turning back”.
India last traveled to Pakistan in 2006 where they lost the Test series but won the ODI. Since then, Pakistan toured India twice before bilateral ties were severed after a short tour in 2012/13. A whole decade has passed and now the scenario is that India and Pakistan will face each other only in ICC multinational tournaments like World Cups, Champions Trophy and Asia Cups.
Last year, India and Pakistan met three times twice during the Asia Cup and later in the T20 World Cup, and on each of these occasions the atmosphere was palpable. Nazir regrets that the rivalry has become limited to certain events these days, while insisting that losing to Pakistan is something India cannot stomach.
“People want to watch India vs Pakistan matches because there is a different level of excitement in them. The whole world knows that. Even we as cricketers feel that for cricket to reach every corner of the world, India vs Pakistan matches have to be played. We played so much cricket. It’s such balanced teas but India can’t tolerate losing. It’s a game, you win some, you lose some,” he mentioned.
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