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'Will send team to Pak only if...': BCCI on India's CT participation

3 weeks ago 603

NEW DELHI: Rajeev Shukla, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (

BCCI

), has clarified that the Indian team's participation in the

ICC Champions Trophy

next year, scheduled to be held in

Pakistan

from February to March 2025, is contingent upon receiving approval from the central government.
The statement comes amidst speculation regarding India's potential absence from the tournament.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have significantly impacted cricketing relations between the two nations since 2008, following the Asia Cup. Bilateral series between India and Pakistan have been suspended since December 2012-January 2013, with ICC tournaments and the Asia Cup serving as the primary platforms for their cricketing encounters.
The decision to send the Indian team to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy hinges on various factors, including the prevailing diplomatic and security situation between the two countries.
Given the history of strained relations and security concerns, any decision regarding India's participation will be subject to careful consideration and consultation with relevant authorities.

Speaking to the ANI, Shukla said, "In the case of the Champion Trophy, we will do whatever the Government of India will tell us to do. We send our team only when the Government of India gives us permission. So we will go according to the decision of the

Indian government

."

Pakistan resorted to a hybrid strategy during the hosting of the Asia Cup last year due to logistical and security challenges, notably hosting all of India's matches, including potential encounters against Pakistan, in Sri Lanka. This decision was made in the interest of ensuring the smooth conduct of the tournament while accommodating security concerns and diplomatic sensitivities.

Contrastingly, when it came to the possibility of adopting a similar hybrid approach for the ODI World Cup hosted by India the previous year, Pakistan did not seriously consider such a strategy.
Instead, they participated in the tournament in India, playing all their matches at various venues across the country. Despite initial discussions regarding the feasibility of a hybrid approach, Pakistan ultimately competed in the tournament in India, albeit facing challenges in the group stages and being eliminated early on.
It's worth noting that Pakistan holds the distinction of being the defending champions of the ICC Champions Trophy, with their triumph in the last edition held in 2017. As they gear up for future tournaments, Pakistan will undoubtedly aim to replicate their past success on the global stage.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (

PCB

) has designated Lahore as the only location for India matches for the Champions Trophy that Pakistan has been awarded for the next year, as ESPNcricinfo reported earlier in May.
According to ESPNcricinfo, PCB has locked three locations--Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi--to host the two-week Champions Trophy. India's draft schedule calls for them to play all of their games at Lahore, which is also the location of the final.
It is said that the idea of putting India in a single place was put forward to avoid potentially significant logistical and security issues related to their travel. Additionally, it gives Indian fans a comparatively easier choice to visit because it is headquartered in Lahore, which is near the Wagah border crossing between the two countries.
PCB chairman

Mohsin Naqvi

said earlier that the board had sent a draft schedule of the tournament, likely to be staged in mid-February next year, to the ICC. Discussions on it involving the eight participating members will take place, with the major sticking point likely to be whether the India team travels or not.
(With ANI inputs)

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