Bilawal-led panel to decide whether Pakistan team will play World Cricket Cup in India
By News Desk
July 8, 2023 11:21 AM
The federal government has entrusted a big responsibility to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appointed him as the head of a high-profile committee which will decide whether the Pakistan cricket team will play ICC World Cup 2023 in India, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Saturday.
Several other federal ministers are also included in the committee who are Rana Sanaullah, Azam Tarar, Ahsaan Mazari, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Asad Mahmood, Aminul Haq, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Tariq Fatemi.
A representative of the Pakistan Cricket Board will also be included in this panel.
Heads of the national security institutions and foreign secretary are also part of the committee, which, according to sources, will prepare recommendations regarding all World Cup affairs.
The sources further said in the light of these recommendations final decision about Pakistan’s going to India to play World Cup will be made.
Final recommendations will be sent to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for approval, the sources added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had linked Pakistan cricket team’s participation in World Cup with government’s permission.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has released the schedule of the ODI World Cup. In this, 10 teams including Pakistan are playing and the ‘mother of all battles’ match is to be played between Pakistan and India on October 15 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The Government of Pakistan, according to news agencies, has decided to send an investigation team to India before the World Cup, which will look after other arrangements including security. Based on this, a decision will be taken on sending the team to India.
Pakistan team is due to play its World Cup matches in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata.
Pakistan and Afghanistan match is to be held in Chennai. PCB wants a change in the venue of this match.
Pakistan's foreign Ministry also said it is "evaluating all aspects" of the country's participation in this year's 50-over World Cup in India with bilateral cricket stalled between the South Asian neighbours due to soured political relations.
The two countries have played each other only in multi-team events at neutral venues over the last decade and doubts remain over Pakistan's involvement in the World Cup in October-November.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Pakistan was of the view that "politics should not be mixed with sports".
"India's policy of not playing cricket in Pakistan is disappointing," Baloch said in Islamabad on Thursday. "We are observing and evaluating all aspects relating to our participation in the World Cup including the security situation for Pakistani cricketers and we will offer our views to PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) in due course."
India did not send team for Asia Cup
Pakistan also does not want to clear the whole picture soon about entering the World Cup. There was a long dispute between Pakistan and the BCCI regarding the venue of the Asia Cup.
The Asia Cup was hosted by Pakistan, but the Indian board had made it clear that the team would not go to Pakistan to play the tournament.
After months of controversy, it was decided that four matches of the tournament would be played in Pakistan while the other nine matches would be played in Sri Lanka. Team India will play all its matches in Sri Lanka. The final will also be played in Sri Lanka.
Reporter Rozina Ali
With inputs from Agencies