'When I heard IND vs PAK WC match was to be in Ahmedabad...': PCB chief Najam Sethi ridicules BCCI in brutal admission

May 12, 2023 07:27 PM IST

Sethi blasted BCCI saying that India are indirectly telling Pakistan to not come for the World Cup.

Amid the talk about a hybrid model for the impending Asia Cup and with PCB chief Najam Sethi repetitively stressing on it being a precedent for the 2023 ODI World Cup and the 2025 Champions Trophy, a report earlier this week revealed that Pakistan will have their blockbuster match against India in the ODI World Cup at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium. Given the magnitude of the game, no better venue in India could stage a match as big as that, but PCB chief Najam Sethi has ridiculed BCCI over the World Cup plan in a brutal admission.

Najam Sethi; Jay Shah
Najam Sethi; Jay Shah

According to Cricbuzz, India will be playing their World Cup opener against five-time champions Australia in Chennai and later take on arch-rivals Pakistan at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, October 15.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to make the official announcement on the World Cup schedule right after the IPL, as stated in the report, after gaining full approval from concerned parties.

Reacting to the report in his interview with Indian Express, Sethi blasted BCCI saying that India are indirectly telling Pakistan to not come for the World Cup.

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“When I heard that the Pakistan match was to be in Ahmedabad, I smiled and said to myself – ‘this is one way to make sure we don’t come to India’. I mean if you’d said Chennai or Kolkata, it might have made sense,” he said. “I don’t want to go into the politics of it but certainly there seems to be a political angle to this because if there’s one city where we might have security issues, it’s Ahmedabad. And therefore, I think the less said about that, the better. It gave the impression that this was a red herring that was thrown in our way to tell us, ‘hey, we are going to play you in Ahmedabad and you watch out. You know who rules Ahmedabad.’”

Sethi also opened up on his equation with BCCI secretary Jay Shah amid the ongoing row over Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup.

He said: “I get along famously with Jay Shah, we have no real issues, we’ve had long sessions. And we are very friendly. The only problem is that he never gives me a reason for not playing in Pakistan. He just smiles and says, ‘Well, you know how the situation is, so let’s not discuss this. Let’s find other solutions.’ And then we find other solutions and this is a solution I have found – the hybrid model – which I know is a compromise."

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