Pakistan, the former ICC Cricket World Cup Champions from 1992, could be headed to Bangladesh instead of hosts India to play their matches at the upcoming edition of the tournament later this year. The ever-rising political tensions between the neighbouring countries could be the major reason why Pakistan might not come over to India to take part in CWC 2023.
Recently, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) made a decision to allow India to play its Asia Cup 2023 matches, including the final, at a neutral venue rather than visiting hosts Pakistan. This arrangement, touted as the hybrid model, was mentioned on the sidelines of the ICC meeting between the BCCI and PCB officials, as a potential solution to ensure that the CWC 2023 gets hosted in a smooth manner for both the parties involved.
The uncertain situation regarding CWC 2023 came to a head only after BCCI Secretary and ACC President Jay Shah announced last year that India won’t be visiting Pakistan to play the latest edition of the Asia Cup and the tournament will be held at a neutral venue.
"Discussions have taken place that could see Pakistan playing its 2023 ODI World Cup matches in Bangladesh. India is the host for the tournament but given tense political relations between the two countries, the idea was discussed at the ICC meetings last week, with the hybrid Asia Cup model being looked at as a solution," claimed an ESPNCricinfo report.
Meanwhile, another report has contradicted these claims. "Bangladesh was not discussed at all at the Board meeting and full backing for the event in India was given by the Board. We're focused on that," an ICC official was quoted saying by Cricbuzz on Wednesday evening.
"It was not discussed at the board. (It) may have been in one of the committees but never in my presence," a member, who was present at last Monday's (March 20) meeting in Dubai, told Cricbuzz.