Amidst the heavy criticism over the poor Rawalpindi pitch for the ongoing Pakistan vs. England first Test, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has yet again grabbed the headlines for targeting the BCCI over the hosting rights for the Asia Cup 2023.
After having issued a warning of pulling out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India if Team India doesn’t make it to Pakistan for the Asia Cup next year, the PCB chief yet again escalated the matter as it seems that the former Pakistan skipper is not in the mood to let the matter die down.
Taking another potshot at the BCCI and secretary Jay Shah, Raja said that Pakistan also has the right to pull out if the Asia Cup 2023 is relocated to a neutral venue. The PCB chief further made a bold statement that he is not bothered even if Sri Lanka and Bangladesh pull out of the 2023 Asia Cup.
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As reported by News18, Ramiz Raja told the press on the sidelines of Rawalpindi Test: “ACC (Asian Cricket Council) gave us the right to host the Asia Cup, uske bad India kehta hai hum nahi ayenge. To main maan sakta hu ki unki ek political samsya hai…to nahi aye. Magar Asia Cup humse leke neutral venue pe jana…ye nai hone wala. (ACC gave us the rights to host the Asia Cup, and I understand BCCI has some politics involved in it, so they can choose to opt out. But taking the tournament from us and moving into a neutral venue is not going to happen).”
On being asked if PCB can host the Asia Cup alongside other teams without India, Raja said: “Nai kyu nai kar sakte. Magar hum to available hain na. Ye to humara right hai, ya to hum kuch aisi cheez puch rahe ho ki hume mili nai ho aur zor laga rahe ho. (Yes, why not? We are available as a host. We are not asking for something which wasn’t given to us.)”
When asked if Sri Lanka and Bangladesh would also pull out of the Asia Cup next year, the PCB chief stated that Pakistan would do the same if it was moved to a neutral venue. Raja signed off by saying, “To wo nai ate to nahi aye (if they don’t want to come, so be it), but if this (Asia Cup) goes out to we will pull out.”