Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja comments on Asia Cup, World Cup dispute with India: 'Fans want us to react' – Sky Sports

“We don’t want to really go there but it’s just that the fans want us to react,” says Ramiz Raja on Pakistan potentially boycotting 2023 World Cup in India; Raja responding to BCCI claiming India won’t travel to Pakistan for next year’s Asia Cup
Tuesday 13 December 2022 14:45, UK
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PCB chair Ramiz Raja has reiterated that Pakistan could boycott next year’s World Cup in India if the stand-off between the two cricket boards isn’t resolved, but insists he wants to see the two nations host each other again.
Pakistan and India haven’t met outside of a white-ball tournament since 2013 due to strained political relations between the two countries, and there is now a dispute between the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the 2023 Asia Cup and 2023 World Cup.
Pakistan are due to host the Asia Cup next September but BCCI secretary Jay Shah said India will not travel to Pakistan and has called for the tournament to be staged at a neutral venue. In response, PCB chief Raja said that if India pulled out or it was moved, then Pakistan would not play in the 50-over World Cup in India, which starts a month later.
“We don’t want to really go there but it’s just that the fans want us to react,” Raja told Sky Sports Cricket on Saturday. “The fans are absolutely bitter because of what India’s narrative has been regarding India-Pakistan.”
Raja called the BCCI’s stance on the Asia Cup “unfair” and that he would “absolutely resist” the tournament moving.
“I think there’s a government policy and I’ve got no idea whether they’ll come or not,” he said. “The Asia Cup would mean a great deal to the fans, it’s a multi-nation tournament. We will resist.”
Raja, a former Pakistan cricketer, said he hopes to play India again but only on “equal terms”.
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“I’m all for India-Pakistan contests, I’ve said this on record,” he stated. “I absolutely love the fans, and they like us as well – Pakistan has become a brand in international cricket, the players have got fan following in India, and I know that the second most watched team in India after India is Pakistan, so they take interest in our development.
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“We want to go and play, but the fact is it has to be on equal terms. You can’t be subservient to a certain cricket board.
“We’ve survived without India now for a good number of years. Pakistan have looked at the scales of economy in-house and somehow have survived extremely well.”
Raja also said any series would have to be in Pakistan or India as “neutral territory would not really advance the cause”.
Pakistan are currently hosting England in a Test series for the first time in 17 years.
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