"The PM Will Take The Final Decision..." - Pakistan Sports Minister Ehsaan Mazari On His Team's Participation In World Cup

Updated - 09 Jul 2023, 02:22 PM

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Pakistan National cricket team (Image Credits: Twitter)

Pakistan’s sports minister Ehsaan Mazari made a bold statement regarding the team’s participation in the ODI World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to be played in India. Ehsaan Mazari warned that his team will withdraw from the event if India refuses to play in the Asia Cup 2023 in Pakistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee, headed by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, to discuss Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup. Ehsaan Mazari is among the 11 ministers in the committee, and they will provide recommendations to the Prime Minister.

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I Don’t Want A Hybrid Model – Ehsaan Mazari

Speaking to The Indian Express, Ehsaan Mazari said that if India decides to play their Asia Cup matches at a neutral venue, Pakistan will demand the same for their World Cup matches in India.

“My personal opinion, since the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) comes under my ministry, is that if India demands to play their Asia Cup games at a neutral venue, we would also demand the same for our World Cup games in India,” Mazari said.

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The PM Will Take The Final Decision – Ehsaan Mazari

Mazari stated that the final decision regarding Pakistan’s participation will be taken by the Prime Minister based on the committee’s recommendations.

“The committee will be headed by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and I am among the 11 ministers who are part of it. We will discuss the issue and give our recommendations to the PM, who is also the patron-in-chief of PCB. The PM will take the final decision,” he added.

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I Don’t Want A Hybrid Model – Ehsaan Mazari

Ehsaan Mazari criticized the “hybrid model” and highlighted that all Asia Cup games should be played in Pakistan. Mazari emphasized the significance of keeping politics and sports separate.

“Pakistan is the host, it has the right to hold all the matches in Pakistan. That is what the cricket lovers want, I don’t want a hybrid model,” he further stated.

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“India brings sports into politics. I don’t understand why the Indian government doesn’t want to send their cricket team here. Some time back a huge baseball contingent from India was in Islamabad to play.

There was also the bridge team that had travelled to Pakistan. There were around 60-plus people, I was the chief guest of the event. They won here and left. Pakistan’s football, hockey and chess teams also travel to India,” he stated.

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I Don’t Think Ahmedabad Will Be An Issue – Ehsaan Mazari

Mazari opened up about the India-Pakistan match in Ahmedabad and stated that the final decision will depend on the decisions made by the PCB chairman and the ICC meeting taking place in South Africa.

“I don’t think Ahmedabad will be an issue. Pakistan has played there earlier. But before that there should be a positive response from India. India should play in Pakistan. Zaka Ashraf (PCB chairman) has gone to South Africa and so let’s see what is decided and what happens,” he concluded.

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