PCB chief Ramiz Raja stirred the hornet’s nest on Friday when he stated that if India doesn’t come to Pakistan for the Asia Cup tournament in 2023, then Pakistan will also not travel to India for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
This came after Jay Shah, who is also the ACC president confirmed that India will not travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup next year. However, Ramiz Raja warned BCCI of the consequences that it and the ICC will suffer from attendance shortage if Pakistan doesn’t come to India to play in the World Cup.
Speaking to Urdu News on Friday, Ramiz said: “If Pakistan doesn't take part in the World Cup scheduled in India next year, who will watch it? We have a clear stand: If the Indian team comes here then we will go for the World Cup. If they don't come then they can play the World Cup without us. We will adopt an aggressive approach. Our team is showing performance. I've always said we need to improve the economy of Pakistan cricket, and that can only happen when we perform well. In the 2021 T20 World Cup, we beat India. We beat India in the T20 Asia Cup. In one year, the Pakistan cricket team defeated a billion dollar economy team twice."
Though there has been no official response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) yet, the Indian cricket fans have already given a befitting reply to Ramiz Raja showing the attendance records for India’s match against Zimbabwe in recent T20 World Cup 2022 and compared it with the attendance of Pakistan’s final against England, which the Men in Green soundly lost.
The BCCI might be formulating a reply of its own, but the Indian sports minister Anurag Thakur has introduced Ramiz Raja to reality and stated that India cannot be overlooked by anyone.
"Wait for the right time. India is a major power in the world of sports & no country can overlook India," said the Union Sports Minister to ANI.
India's last trip to Pakistan was in the 2008 Asia Cup while Pakistan came to India for the 2016 T20 WC.
As for the Asia Cup, Pakistan had refused to tour India for the 2018 edition of the tournament, which led to the event being shifted to UAE.