India is in danger on losing hosting rights of the next year’s Asia Cup in September if the government doesn’t allow the Pakistan Cricket Team in the country.
The bilateral ties between the two neighbouring have been at an all time in recent times due to escalating political tensions. The arch-rivals have not played a full bilateral Test series since 2007 when Pakistan visited India for three Tests and five One-Day Internationals. They played a short series of three ODIs and two T20s in India in December 2012, but otherwise, both have faced each other only in the ICC organised events or the Asia Cup.
Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board stated that it would sue BCCI on the ground that the latter did not honour the MoU signed in 2014. The boards had signed the MoU for six bilateral series to be played between 2015 and 2023 with Pakistan hosting four of them. But with the BCCI not getting the clearance from the Indian government, it has not been able to resume bilateral ties with Pakistan.
Earlier this year, the Under-19 Asia Cup was shifted from India to Malaysia due to Indian government as well as Pakistan’s reluctance and the BCCI officials are apprehensive that the Asia Cup for the senior teams can also suffer the same fate.
“If we didn’t get the permission to host the Pakistan’s Under-19 team from the Centre, it looks highly unlikely that we’ll get to do so in case of their senior team,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
“The Pakistan athletes were given visas to take part in the Asian Athletics Championships, but the government says that cricket’s case is a bit different, since it has an emotional connect with people from both the countries. When we approached the government with a request, we didn’t get any response from them, but we need to decide fast since we need to inform the ACC soon,” the official added.
There has also been a discussion with Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) over the possibility of hosting the tournament in another country. A minute-of-the same meeting, dated November 21, read, “It’s not clear whether the government of India will allow the Pakistan team to travel to India for the tournament. If not, then the BCCI needs to inform the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) of the same so that an alternate host country can be finalised.”
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