The cricket world has been deprived of the intense rivalry between India and Pakistan due to political tension between the two countries. They have not played a bilateral series with each other since 2012-13.
Currently, the cricket board of both countries are in a tussle over the staging of the Asia Cup 2023. While Pakistan have the hosting rights, the BCCI isn’t willing to end its team to the neighbouring country and wants the multi-nation tournament to be shifted to a neutral venue.
As of today, PCB has not agreed to the demand of shifting the Asia Cup out of Pakistan, leading to a deadlock. In fact, after the ACC meeting in Bahrain last month, PCB chairman Najam Sethi threatened to boycott the 2023 ODI World Cup in India if the arch-rivals refuse to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has urged the BCCI to talk to PCB to resolve all the issues that have halted cricketing ties between the two countries.
"BCCI should resolve all issues affecting our cricketing ties. PCB wants India to come here to play. We are even willing to go there and play. However, for this, the BCCI should talk to the PCB once. We want to talk. We always take the first step and want the BCCI to reciprocate. I urge the BCCI to not arrive at any decision just like that. They should talk to the PCB chairman at least once before arriving at any decision," Afridi told ANI.
Afridi, who represented Pakistan in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is, further said that the PCB is not a weak board.
"What can we do if we want to befriend another board and it doesn't reciprocate in kind? Our board isn't a weak one. But there's little we can do if we want to be friends and the other side doesn't respond. The BCCI, as a cricket governing body, is very strong. When you have so much power and clout, you become more responsible. You should try to make more friends, not enemies. Making more friends only makes you stronger," he added.
The fate of the Asia Cup 2023 hosting will be decided in the second round of the Executive Board meeting of ACC members this month.
"Talks are ongoing. These (Jay Shah's claim of the Asia Cup being shifted out of Pakistan) are just statements that keep coming. In time, we will release an official statement on whether we are coming to India (for the ODI World Cup) or not," Afridi concluded.
(With ANI Inputs)