'India won't come here for Asia Cup because they're afraid of losing': Ex-Pakistan cricketer stirs fresh controversy
With each passing day, the debate whether the Indian cricket team will travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup only intensifies.
With each passing day, the debate whether the Indian cricket team will travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup only intensifies. It all began last where, when ACC president Jay Shah wrote to the ICC requesting for a chance of venue for the Asia Cup. Originally supposed to be held in Pakistan, the PCB took exception to the fact that such a proposal had been made and retaliation, threatened a World Cup pullout later in the year. Ever since, the two boards have gone back-and-forth, but while Pakistan have insisted that they are keen to host India, the BCCI has remained firm in their stance.
As per the latest development, the two boards have seemingly worked on a hybrid model for the Asia Cup. According to it, the Asia Cup will remain with Pakistan but India's matches will be held at a neutral venue – most likely either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. The belief is that India does not trust Pakistan's security, despite the fact that teams such as England and Australia have played out full-fledged series over there, although certain former cricketers feel there's a lot more to the matter than what meets the eyes. Imran Nazir is one such ex-Pakistan star who feels that the whole security issue is just a cover up to mask India's fear on facing Pakistan on their soil.
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"There is no security reason. Just look how many teams have been to Pakistan. Forget A teams, even Australia visited. These are all just cover ups. The truth is that India won't come to Pakistan [for Asia Cup] because they are afraid of losing. Security is just an excuse. Come and play cricket. When you start playing politics, there is no way back," he said on the Nadir Ali Podcast.
The last time India travelled to Pakistan was way back in 2006, where they lost the Test series but won the ODIs. Ever since, Pakistan have toured India twice before bilateral ties were severed after a brief tour of 2012/13. A whole decade has passed and now the scenario is such that India and Pakistan face each other only in multi-nation ICC tournaments such as the World Cups, Champions Trophy and the Asia Cups. Last year, India and Pakistan did battle thrice – twice during the Asia Cup and later at the T20 World Cup and on each of those occasions, the atmosphere was palpable. Nazir rues that the rivalry has been limited to certain events in today's time while insisting that losing to Pakistan is something India cannot digest.
"People want to watch India vs Pakistan games because there is a different level of excitement to it. The entire world knows it. Even we as cricketer feel that for cricket to reach every corner of the world, India-Pakistan matches need to happen. We used to play so much cricket. They are such a balanced tea but India cannot tolerate losing. It's a game; you'll win some, you'll lose some," he mentioned.