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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Pakistan to send its cricket team to participate in World Cup in India

Following India's refusal to send its cricket team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) threatened to boycott the 50-over World Cup in India, scheduled to be held in October-November this year. 

Pakistan announced on Sunday it has given the green signal to the national men’s cricket team to travel to India to take part in the 50-over World Cup, the foreign office said, expressing, however, “deep concerns” for the green shirts’ security in India.

Following India’s refusal to send its cricket team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) threatened to boycott the 50-over World Cup in India, scheduled to be held in October-November this year.

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Political tensions between the South Asian neighbors mean their cricket teams have played each other only in multi-team events at neutral venues over the past decade.  Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif constituted a high-level committee last month, headed by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, to decide whether the government should send its cricket team to India or not.

“Pakistan has consistently maintained that sports should not be mixed with politics. It has, therefore, decided to send its Cricket Team to India to participate in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023,” a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said.

Pakistan said it believes the state of its bilateral relations with India should not impede its international sports obligations, adding that its decision reflected its “constructive and responsible approach” compared to India’s “intransigent” one.

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MoFA said despite giving the green signal to the national squad to travel to India, it had “deep concerns” about the team’s security.

“Pakistan, however, has deep concerns about the security of its Cricket Team,” MoFA said. “We are conveying these concerns to the International Cricket Council and the Indian authorities.

“We expect that full safety and security of Pakistan Cricket Team will be ensured during its visit to India,” it added.

Pakistan is scheduled to take on India in Ahmedabad on October 15. Cricket matches between the two Asian cricket giants are always a spectacle, drawing thousands of people to the stadium while millions of sports fans witness the action on their TV screens across the world.