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Shoaib Akhtar names replacement for Pakistan as Asia Cup hosts, wants ‘nothing but IND vs PAK final’ for 2023 World Cup

Cricket relations between India and Pakistan are not in a great state as the two boards are clashing over the venue of Asia Cup 2023 which is currently scheduled to be held in Pakistan. However, BCCI’s reluctance to send an Indian contingent to the neighboring country for security reasons has sparked fresh resentment between the two sides.

The matter escalated after BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who is also the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), announced that the continental event will be held at a neutral venue as India will not travel to Pakistan. However, the development has come under heavy criticism from their board and a number of former Pakistan cricketers who have even called on the PCB to boycott the ODI World Cup to be held in India after the 2023 Asia Cup.

While the matter is yet to be resolved, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has come up with a new suggestion. Akhtar, who is currently involved with Legends League Cricket (LLC), feels that the tournament should remain in Pakistan or be held in Sri Lanka, which is also the defending champion.

“I want Asia Cup 2023 to be held in Pakistan, if not in Pakistan then in Sri Lanka,” Akhtar told in Doha.

Rawalpindi Express also wants both countries to further excel in sports. “I want to see India and Pakistan play the Asia Cup and World Cup finals. Nothing else should happen in world cricket just an India-Pakistan final,” he said.

Earlier this week, PCB chairman Najam Sethi informed that the board is exploring all possible options when it comes to the Asia Cup in Pakistan and the ODI World Cup in India. Sethi said he would raise these issues in the next ACC and ICC meetings.

“We have complex issues, but going into the ACC and ICC meetings, I have kept all options open for us and we have to take a clear stand now,” Sethi said while addressing the media on Monday.

Sethi admitted that India is adamant not to send a team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. The PCB is also confident that they will have to think about not playing the World Cup in India unless they visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup earlier.

“I left my options open because when all the teams come to Pakistan and they don’t have any security issues. So why is India worried about security. Likewise we can have security concerns about sending our team to India for the whole world.” Cup and I will bring that to the table in the upcoming meetings,” he said. A meeting of the ICC CEO and Executive Board is scheduled for this month.

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