‘I can give it to you in writing that India won’t go to Pakistan’: Ex-opener’s stern reply to PCB’s World Cup warning
Ahead of India’s T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan in Melbourne on Sunday, a huge debate has taken centre stage about the future of cricketing ties between these two Asian giants. BCCI and PCB have been at loggerheads ever since the Indian cricket board’s secretary Jay Shah, who also happens to be the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) confirmed that India won’t travel to Pakistan for the next edition of Asia Cup in 2023 and that it will be hosted in a neutral venue. The statement, which PCB claimed was made without any discussion with ACC members, attracted sharp criticism from former Pakistan cricketers. PCB, in fact, in a strongly-worded letter, threatened to pull out of the ODI World Cup in India next year and said India’s move of not travelling to Pakistan may have ramifications in the cricketing ties between the two neighbours.Former India opener Aakash Chopra, however, has a different take on it. The former right-hander, one of the very few prominent faces in the Indian cricket fraternity to have opened up on the matter, said he can ‘give in writing’ that India won’t travel to Pakistan for next year’s Asia Cup and also Pakistan will definitely come to India to play the ODI World Cup.
“Asia Cup might not happen at all if India don’t participate, there’s no chance. The Asia Cup is a minor tournament compared to the world cup. Skipping the World Cup means you will end up forgoing a massive amount of revenue that ICC shares (with the participating nations). It’s a case of who blinks first. So I’m not taking this seriously. I feel the Asia Cup 2023 will be held and at a neutral venue,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel Terming India as ‘the big brother of ACC’, Chopra also claimed that BCCI is the only member of the council that doesn’t take money, it instead distributes it among the other boards.“Of course, ACC is a consortium. But few are aware of the fact that India doesn’t take a penny from ACC. Everybody takes a certain amount from the (ACC) coffer whether 4 million or 8 million but India ends up distributing their amount instead,” Chopra said. “India has been playing the role of a big brother in ACC. If it has been said that the team might not travel to Pakistan, then I can give you this in writing that India won’t. The Asia Cup will also be held at a neutral venue. And Pakistan will also definitely come to play in the World Cup (in India)… Take all this from in writing. All these things are guaranteed,” he added.