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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Roger Binny puts Pakistan travel in Centre court

Newly elected BCCI president’s intervention comes a day after PCB criticises Jay Shah's statement to shift Asia Cup to a neutral venue, saying it is 'unilateral'

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 21.10.22, 04:15 AM
Roger Binny at a news conference in Bangalore on Thursday.

Roger Binny at a news conference in Bangalore on Thursday. PTI picture

Newly elected BCCI president Roger Binny sought to calm frayed nerves on next year’s Asia Cup, saying it’s up to the Indian government to decide whether the cricket team would travel to Pakistan or not.

Binny’s intervention comes a day after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) criticised the statement of BCCI secretary Jay Shah to shift the Asia Cup to a neutral venue, saying it was “unilateral”.

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“That is not BCCI’s call. We need the government’s clearance to leave the country. Whether we leave the country or teams come into the country, we need clearance.

“Once we get clearance from the government then we go with it. We can’t make a decision on our own. We have to rely on the government. We have not approached them yet,” Binny said in Bangalore.

Earlier in the day in New Delhi, sports minister Anurag Thakur, a former BCCI president, also spoke on similar lines.

“It’s a decision that will be taken by the home ministry. Overall, players’ safety and security is an important matter,” Thakur said.

When pointed out that international teams have started touring Pakistan of late, Thakur deflected the question.

BCCI secretary Shah, who is also the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president, said after the Board AGM on Tuesday that the team won’t travel to Pakistan.

“The Asia Cup 2023 will be held at a neutral venue,” Shah had said. “I am saying this as ACC president. We can’t go to Pakistan... Asia Cup has been played at a neutral venue and it is not unprecedented.”

PCB has threatened widespread ramifications if Shahstuck to his stand, and as a first step, PCB would quit the ACC. It also raised the prospect of an “impact” on Pakistan’s participation in the 2023 ODI World Cup, scheduled in India.

“Pakistan will not agree to shift the Asia Cup to a neutral venue. There has been a significant resumption of international cricket in Pakistan with the visits of West Indies, Australia and England recently. Under the circumstances, if we agree to relocate the AsiaCup to a neutral venue where does PCB stand?” sources in the PCB told The Telegraph.

The PCB has also requested the ACC to convene an emergency meeting of its board to discuss “this important and sensitive matter”.

India’s last visit to Pakistan was for the 2008 Asia Cup.

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