“Why Give It To Us In First Place?”: Miffed Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Ramiz Raja On Asia Cup Debate

Ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, Jay Shah, said that India won’t travel to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja has been miffed. Raja has issued multiple statements on the matter, even suggesting that the Pakistan cricket team won’t tour India for the 2023 ODI World Cup if the Indian team doesn’t come for the Asia Cup. As the debate stretches on, the talks of Asia Cup being shifted to a different venue have also taken place.

Ramiz Raja, in chat on BBC’s Test Match Special, suggested that hosting rights of Asia Cup shouldn’t be taken away from Pakistan just because India aren’t willing to make the trip.

“We’ve shown we can host great teams,” Ramiz said. “I can understand issues relating to bilateral cricket, but the Asia Cup is a multi-nation tournament, almost as big as the World Cup for the Asian bloc.

“Why give it to us in the first place and then make all those statements about India not travelling to Pakistan? I accept that India won’t come because the government won’t allow them to come – fine. But to take the Asia Cup away from the host on that basis isn’t right,” the PCB boss said.

Raja also stated that whenever the topic is discussed with the BCCI, the Indian board cites ‘political interference’ as the reason. Other than that, as per him, there’s no reason for India to not come to Pakistan.

“Both boards need to come to terms with whether we want to play each other or not,” Raja said. “Pakistan is willing, but they quote political interference. You can’t work when there is political interference. They quote the government doesn’t allow it, so that kills the debate. There is no reason why India couldn’t come to Pakistan and Pakistan go to India.”

The topic is expected to continue being discussed between the two boards, the Asia Cricket Council as well as the two countries’ governments for some time. But, in all likeliness, it doesn’t look like the Indian team will travel to Pakistan anytime soon.

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