As per reports, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi plans to meet with BCCI secretary Jay Shah about his country’s Asia Cup hosting rights if the BCCI secretary attends the International League T20 opening ceremony on Thursday.
Pakistan was the original host of this year’s Asia Cup, but the BCCI is unwilling to play there due to political tensions between the two countries.
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“Najam will be using this opportunity to work on relations with the ACC members and ensure that the Asia Cup is held as scheduled in Pakistan in September this year. Basically, Najam Sethi is also going as he has been conveyed that there is a strong possibility of BCCI boss Jay Shah also being in attendance,” a PCB source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
However, the BCCI has not confirmed whether its president or any of the other officeholders will be present at the inaugural ceremony.
The other important query is if Shah will prefer to host the PCB chairman for a casual talk on the sidelines, even if he attends the function in his roles as ACC president and BCCI secretary. Last year, Ramiz Raja, the then PCB chief, threatened to withdraw Pakistan from the World Cup in India when Shah, in his capacity as ACC chairman, said that the Asia Cup will be moved out of Pakistan.
Najam Sethi would also drop in at the ICC headquarters:
Based on a PCB source, there was a view on the board that former chairman Ramiz had gone too far with his threats to the ACC and BCCI, and the PCB needed to first ensure it could host the Asia Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2025.
“If Shah does come to Dubai, it will also allow Najam Sethi to meet him in person or other BCCI officials on the sidelines and discuss the issue of India sending its team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.”
The source said Najam Sethi would also drop in at the ICC headquarters to meet with senior administrators to discuss hosting the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan as well as the World Cup that is now being staged in India.
The ECB and PCB had a contentious relationship during Ramiz’s presidency as a result of the former chairman publicly discouraging Pakistani players from playing in the league, therefore Sethi’s decision to accept the invitation from the latter is noteworthy.