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The International Cricket Council (ICC) is apparently looking for assurance from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on their participation in the upcoming  One-Day International (ODI) World Cup. This comes as the PCB has expressed worries about the Asia Cup’s scheduling, which is set to take place just before the World Cup.

The Asia Cup has always featured some of the region’s best cricketing nations, including India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, among others. However, because of political tensions between the two countries, the PCB has raised misgivings about India hosting the tournament.

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In order to obtain assurances from the PCB that it won’t advocate for the implementation of a hybrid format for its matches in the ODI World Cup in India later this year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman and CEO are in Lahore. Insiders told PTI that Greg Barclay, the chairman of the ICC, and Geoff Allardice, the CEO, came to Lahore expressly to seek Pakistan Cricket Board assurances regarding the participation of the national squad in the World Cup in October-November.

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The change occurred when PCB president Najam Sethi made it plain that the squad would not travel to India for the World Cup if the Rohit Sharma-led team did not visit Pakistan for the preceding Asia Cup. “The ICC and World Cup hosts, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are concerned with the hybrid model being pushed by Najam Sethi who heads the cricket management committee of the PCB”

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Although the hybrid model has been suggested by Sethi for the Asia Cup which precedes the ICC event, the concern remains that once accepted for the regional event the PCB might also then ask the ICC to implement it for the World Cup when it comes to Pakistan playing in India,” he explained.

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PCB could ask the ICC to hold Pakistan’s matches at a neutral venue:

PCB chief Najam Sethi has already stated that if the Pakistan government does not provide approval or has security concerns about sending the team to India, the PCB may request that the matches be held at a neutral location.

“Naturally neither the ICC nor the BCCI want such a situation since Pakistan’s unequivocal participation in matches in India would guarantee the success of Indo-Pakistan matches and also the tournament itself,” PCB said.

According to a different source, Jay Shah, the secretary of the BCCI, was still hesitant to endorse the hybrid Asia Cup concept and support having three or four of the tournament’s games played in Pakistan and the rest matches played in the UAE or Sri Lanka.

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The Asia Cup is being hosted by Pakistan, and Sethi has stated repeatedly that Pakistan will not participate in the competition if the tournament is shifted to another neutral country.

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