Champions Trophy: India hesitant to play in Pak

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | July 11, 2024 IST

Rohit with Babar

Mumbai, July 11: As expected, India have reportedly expressed their unwillingness to travel to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy 2025. 

After sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were quoted by a section of press on Thursday, the issue of India's hesitation to play in Pakistan resurfaced again. 

Further it is learnt that India may appeal the International Cricket Council (ICC) to move the Champions Trophy 2025 either to Sri Lanka or the UAE. The other option may be to host the tournament in a hybrid model like the Asia Cup 2023.

Earlier, Pakistan suggested that all of India's matches may be held in one city, preferably Lahore, to minimise their travel. But the BCCI reports said is not interested in the prospect of travelling to Pakistan and play cricket there.

If India's demands are met and the Champions Trophy 2025 is relocated, or held in a hybrid model, it will be the second multi-nation ICC tournament (after Asia Cup 2023) in recent times, to move out of Pakistan for India's  unwillingness to travel to the neighbouring country. 

It can be recalled that in May 2024, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla had stated that Team India would only travel to Pakistan after the Union Government gives its clearance. 

Due to tense bilateral relations, Indian team has not travelled to Pakistan since Asia Cup in 2008. A bilateral series from December 2012 to January 2013 in India, also was the final bilateral series between the two nations. After that, both nations have only met each other at ICC tournaments and the Asia Cup.

As per earlier schedule, Pakistan would host the Champions Trophy 2025 in February-March next year. Champions Trophy was last held in 2017 and Pakistan clinched the title.

After not so impressive performances in the Asia Cup 2023, ODI World Cup 2023 and T20 World Cup 2024, Pakistan would be keen to retain the Champions Trophy being the host nation.

In contrast, India were champions in Asia Cup 2023 and T20 World Cup 2024. India also hosted ODI World Cup 2023 successfully and won 10 matches consecutively, before losing the final to Australia.

So, both Asian cricket superpowers eyeing the Champions Trophy to prove their mettle, is very much expected. But the latest twist in the tale of India unwilling to travel to Pakistan, may  once again irk the neighbouring nation (Pakistan).

India have already named their T20 World Cup 2024 winning captain Rohit Sharma, as their skipper for the Champions Trophy 2025, which would be played in ODI format.  

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