Following the acceptance of the proposed hybrid model by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it is highly likely that Pakistan will participate in the upcoming World Cup in India. The hybrid model, which was initially met with opposition from the BCCI, allows Pakistan to retain their status as hosts for a portion of the Asia Cup before the tournament moves to another venue, potentially Sri Lanka, where India will play their group matches.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is expected to make an official announcement regarding the tournament in the next few days, with the event scheduled for September.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had previously threatened a tit-for-tat stance if the BCCI rejected the hybrid model. However, with the model’s acceptance, the PCB is willing to show flexibility and is hopeful that the Pakistani government will grant approval for the team to travel to India for the World Cup.
This would mark Pakistan’s first visit to India since 2016. The final decision on whether Pakistan will play their arch-rivals in Ahmedabad, as proposed in the draft schedule sent by the International Cricket Council (ICC), will be made by the Pakistani government.
The PCB has received the draft schedule and is currently in consultation with the government regarding the fixture list. A decision is expected to be made in the coming week. This would also mean that the official schedule for the World Cup will be released approximately three months before the tournament’s first match on October 5.
According to the draft schedule, Pakistan’s campaign will begin on October 6 against one of the teams from the preceding qualifying round in Hyderabad. They will then face another qualifier at the same venue on October 12.
The team will travel to Ahmedabad for a highly anticipated clash against India on October 15, followed by matches against Australia in Bengaluru on October 20, and Afghanistan and South Africa in Chennai on October 23 and 27, respectively.
After a match against Bangladesh in Kolkata on November 1, Pakistan will return to Bengaluru to face New Zealand on November 5. They will conclude the league stage with a match against England in Kolkata on November 12. The dates and venues for the semi-finals and final of the tournament have not been included in the draft schedule.
The acceptance of the hybrid model is seen by the PCB as a positive development for the future of the ACC, which was established in 1983 to protect the interests of Asian cricketing nations. The board believes that this model will serve as a blueprint for handling complex situations, such as the political tensions between India and Pakistan, which have prevented bilateral cricket between the two countries since 2012.
The PCB is now confident about hosting the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy, for which they secured the hosting rights two years ago. There is a belief within the board that if Pakistan travels to India for the World Cup, it will provide fewer reasons for the BCCI to not reciprocate by participating in the Champions Trophy.