Ehsan Mani speaks during a press conference at the PCB Headquarters in Lahore. File
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is hoping India will visit Pakistan when it hosts the 2023 Asia Cup.
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said India's visit will be a big break for Pakistan cricket and added that the 2021 edition of the continental event has been shelved since neither of the two rivals could find a window.
"It is not possible to hold the Asia Cup (in Sri Lanka) this year. There was a tiny window in June but we are playing Pakistan Super League's remaining matches and also India are playing the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in that period. They have to do a two-week quarantine in England before playing the final. So, India too are busy," said Mani while speaking to the Jang newspaper.
Pakistan's cricketers attend a practice session at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium ahead of the S.Africa and Zimbabwe tour. AFP
"The earnings through Asia Cup helps Associate nations so it is important that we hold the tournament with all the top sides (and not with B teams)," added Mani.
Mani hoped that India's visit to Pakistan in 2023 will be a big breakthrough for the country which has been struggling to host top teams over the last decade.
It is only recently — over the last one to one-and-a-half years — that international teams have started to tour Pakistan. While Australia and New Zealand were anyway not touring the country over the last 20 years, others stopped travelling to the country after the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team.
"Pakistan will be hosting the Asia Cup in 2023. India's participation in the tournament will be a big breakthrough for Pakistan cricket. I hope that the political situation would improve by then," added Mani.
Mani also talked about Pakistan's participation in the T20 World Cup and said that he has been assured that the tournament can't go ahead without India. India are to host the tournament in October-November this year.
"The ICC assured that the T20 World Cup cannot be held without Pakistan. Spoken to Greg Barclay four times," he confirmed to Jang.
Shaheen Shah Afridi (C), Shadab Khan (L) and Usman Qadir take part in a practice session. AFP
Although there is no official word from India on issuing visas to Pakistani cricketers for the T20 World Cup, it is too early to expect the Indian government to make its stand clear. The last time a Pakistani team visited India for a bilateral series was over eight years ago, in 2012-13, though Pakistan also toured India in 2016 for a multi-nation competition -- the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup
Ties, however, have resumed in other sports in recent times.
An initial glimpse of this thaw is already visible in Greater Noida where a Pakistani equestrian team is currently competing in the World Cup qualifiers.
A Pakistani skeet shooter also landed in New Delhi on Thursday to compete at the shooting World Cup starting in the national capital.
Indo-Asian News Service
Australia improved their rating from 113 to 118 following the annual update, maintaining a slender lead over Pakistan (116 points) and India (115 points).
"Pakistan captain Azam has ended Kohli's long reign at the top of the ICC Men's ODI player rankings," the ICC said in a statement. The 26-year-old becomes the fourth Pakistani batsmen to get the top spot in ODIs and the first since Mohammad Yousuf in 2003.
"Virat Kohli is a good player and he has performed well against Pakistan. I have nothing against him but if Indians don't compare their players with Pakistan, then we shouldn't do that as well," he added.
Sethi said Pakistan, World Cup champions in 1992, was a top cricketing nation which should not be ignored and that they would have to talk to the ICC about the Asia Cup problem. "BCCI should take a good, rational decision so that we don't have any problems going forward," says PCB chief.
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