The International Cricket Council (ICC) has awarded Pakistan the hosting rights for the upcoming Champions Trophy 2025, slated for February-March. However, the formal hosting agreement is yet to be finalized, stirring discussions after recent ICC meetings in India.
While expressing optimism about the imminent signing of the agreement, PCB authorities have underscored Pakistan’s firm stance. They call for a comprehensive security assessment in consultation with an independent agency, should any country cite security concerns to refrain from sending a team. All matches are proposed to occur in Pakistan unless validated security issues emerge, considering that all teams, except India, have recently played there without incident.
Reports suggest that the Indian government might not permit BCCI to send the Indian team to Pakistan. PCB acknowledges the political nature of this matter and anticipates a resolution at the government level. If India chooses not to participate, exploring alternatives like relocating matches to neutral venues and ensuring financial compensation through ICC consultation is underway. Previous objections raised by the PCB management committee based on ICC documents are being examined with legal advice sought.
Despite ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice’s visit to Pakistan in May, a resolution on this matter remains pending. The current administration seeks assurance, aiming to potentially sign contracts next month, pending resolution of financial and logistical issues.
It’s worth noting that PCB’s successful organization of the 2023 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka under a hybrid model, with minimal matches held in the country, might offer a template if the Indian team opts out. However, such a move could significantly escalate expenses.