Indian cricket board’s Secretary Jay Shah ruled out the possibility of the Indian team visiting Pakistan for the 50-over Asia Cup next year, saying that they had decided to hold the tournament at a neutral venue, local media reported on Tuesday.
“Neutral venue for the Asia Cup is not unprecedented, and we have decided that we will not travel to Pakistan,” Hindustan Times quoted Shah as saying following the 91st annual general meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Shah, who is also the president of the Asian Cricket Council, added: “It’s the government that decides over the permission of our team visiting Pakistan, so we won’t comment on that but for the 2023 Asia Cup, it is decided that the tournament will be held at a neutral venue.”
Pakistan is scheduled to host the 50-over Asia Cup in the second half of 2023, following which the World Cup will take place in India.
Earlier, Cricbuzz had reported that the BCCI was open to sending the Indian cricket team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023.
The report cited a BCCI official as saying that the visit would be “subject to the clearance of the government of the time, but right now, it is certainly on the agenda” of the board’s annual general meeting.
Cricbuzz also cited a note by the BCCI that listed India’s engagements in next year’s multilateral events.
“There is always an alternative to hosting the event in the United Arab Emirates, like this year’s Asia Cup, but the BCCI note seemed to be indicating otherwise,” the report said.
Pakistan and India have not played men’s cricket against one another — apart from multi-team events — in any format since January 2013 as their last Test match was played in December 2007.
Decades of bitter rivalry between the neighbours often clouds their cricket encounters. India has largely refused to play bilateral games against Pakistan since 2008, after deadly attacks in Mumbai, which India blamed on Pakistan and the latter strongly denied.
The Indian cricket team had last visited Pakistan for a bilateral series in 2005-6.