Shoaib Akhtar names Pakistan's replacement as Asia Cup hosts, wants ‘nothing but IND vs PAK finals’ at World Cup 2023

Mar 16, 2023 09:32 AM IST

Earlier this week, PCB chairman Najam Sethi informed that the board was exploring all options possible as far as Asia Cup in Pakistan and ODI World Cup in India are concerned.

The cricketing ties between India and Pakistan are not in a great state with both the boards colliding over the venue of Asia Cup 2023, which at present is scheduled to be held in Pakistan. However, BCCI's unwillingness to send the Indian contingent to the neighbouring country owing to security reasons have created fresh furore between the two parties.

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar

The matter escalated after BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who is also the president of Asian Cricket Council (ACC), announced the continental event will be held at a neutral venue as India won't be traveling to Pakistan. The development, however, was met with harsh criticism from their board and a host of former Pakistani cricketers, who even urged PCB to boycott the ODI World Cup, which will be held in India after the Asia Cup 2023.

While the matter is yet to be resolved, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has come up with a fresh suggestion. Akhtar, who is currently engaged with Legends League Cricket (LLC), feels the tournament should remain in Pakistan or else it should be held in Sri Lanka, who are also the defending champions.

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“I want Asia Cup 2023 to be held in Pakistan, if not Pakistan then Sri Lanka,” Akhtar told ANI in Doha.

The Rawalpindi Express also wants both the countries to excel further in the sport. "I want to see India and Pakistan play the final in Asia Cup and World Cup. Nothing else should happen in world cricket just India and Pakistan finals," he said.

Earlier this week, PCB chairman Najam Sethi informed that the board was exploring all options possible as far as Asia Cup in Pakistan and ODI World Cup in India are concerned. Sethi said that he will be raising these issues in the next ACC and ICC meetings.

"We have complex issues on hand but for me when I go to the ACC and ICC meetings I have kept all options open for us and we have to take a clear position now," Sethi said while addressing media on Monday.

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Sethi admitted that India are firm on not sending the team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. PCB is also firm that it will have to think about not playing the World Cup in India, if they former don't visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup.

"I have kept my options open because when all teams are coming to Pakistan and have no issues with security. Then why is India worried about the security. In the same way we can also have security concerns over sending our team to India for the World Cup and I will be bringing this to the table at the coming meetings," he said.

The ICC CEO and Executive Board meetings is scheduled to be held this month.

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