PCB gets government green light for ODI World Cup 2023

The Pakistan government has provided the clearance the country’s cricket body has been waiting for to travel for the upcoming 2023 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup in India. The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Sunday that the government has decided to send the team to take part in the global event.

“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,” read the statement.

The ministry’s statement said that the state of bilateral relations with India should not stand in the way of fulfilling international sports-related obligations before adding that unlike India’s decision to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, they have taken a “constructive and responsible approach”.

The Asia Cup was initially supposed to be held in Pakistan entirely but it was later agreed {that a} hybrid model will be followed with Sri Lanka co-hosting the event. India will play all their matches in Sri Lanka starting from September 2 against Pakistan in Kandy.

The ministry’s statement did express serious security concerns for the team, which will be led by Babar Azam, during their time in India for the World Cup. As reported by this daily, the board had been awaiting the government’s decision on travelling to India even as the BCCI and ICC released the schedule on June 27.

The Pakistan government, while agreeing to send the team, said that they have written to the ICC and Indian authorities expressing their concerns. “We expect that full safety and security of Pakistan Cricket Team will be ensured during its visit to India,” the statement read.

At this point, it is worth noting that as many as three matches, including the India-Pakistan one that is originally scheduled to be played in Ahmedabad on October 15 could be preponed. Initially, the Ahmedabad police had expressed security concerns over playing the India-Pakistan match on the first day of Navratri, later the Kolkata police seem to have communicated similar concerns for the Pakistan-England clash on the day of Kali Puja (November 12).

To accommodate them, the Pakistan clash against Sri Lanka too might have to be moved from October 12 to 10. Whether the ICC and Pakistan will agree to all the changes is yet to be seen. The tournament, supposed to begin on October 5 (less than 60 days to go), does not have a final schedule as of this moment.

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