Following the BCCI AGM on October 18, the board general secretary Jay Shah remarked that India will not be traveling to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023 and that the tournament will be held at a neutral venue. The backlash from former Pakistan players was swift and continues to pour in with former allrounder Mudassar Nazar now asking PCB to boycott all forms of cricket engagement with India.
Following Shah’s comment, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released an official statement in which it expressed its surprise and disappointment at claim and called for an emergency meeting of the Asian Cricket Council to look into the matter.
Nazar alleges that the reason why Pakistan hasn’t got enough support from other boards is because they have been more concerned about securing their revenues.
“Pakistan could not get support from other boards on issues with India because the purpose of other boards is to fill their own pockets. We must now make our own decisions without regard for financial blackmail. I believe we should now refuse to play India at any level," Nazar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Nazar went a step ahead in his criticism, adding a political colour to the controversy. He also said that Shah, who is also the chairman of ACC, is overstepping and harming the continental body.
“Looking at what happened with (Sourav) Ganguly in the recent Indian board elections, it is clear that the BJP is interfering in India’s and the Asian Cricket Council’s affairs. Regarding the Asia Cup, ACC President Jay Shah appears to be constantly overstepping. This attitude may turn out to be harmful to the ACC," Nazar said.
On Thursday, newly elected BCCI president Roger Binny also added his voice while pointing out the fact that it’s not the board but the Indian government who has the final say in which country the team can travel to for competitive matches.
“That isn’t our call," Binny was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “We can’t say where our team has to go. We need to take clearance from Govt if we leave the country or other countries come here. We can’t take that decision on our own, we’ve to rely on government."