Pakistan’s Prime Minister Convenes High-Level Panel to Decide on National Team’s Participation in One-Day International World Cup
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has established a high-level committee, led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, to make a decision regarding the national cricket team’s participation in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. The committee’s main task is to thoroughly examine and discuss various aspects of Pakistan and India relations, the government’s stance on keeping sports and politics separate, and the current situation in India concerning players, officials, fans, and media. After conducting their assessment, the committee will present its recommendations to Prime Minister Sharif. It is important to note that Prime Minister Sharif also holds the position of patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Although the International Cricket Council and the host Board of Control for Cricket in India have already announced the schedule for the World Cup, expecting Pakistan to travel to India for the tournament starting on October 5, the Pakistan Cricket Board has informed them that the national team’s participation is subject to government clearance due to the tense relations between the two countries.
The committee includes other prominent members such as Sports Minister Ahsan Mazari, Maryam Aurangzeb, Asad Mahmood, Amin ul Haq, Qamar Zaman Kaira, and former diplomat Tariq Fatmi. These ministers have indicated to the Pakistan Cricket Board that a high-level security delegation will be dispatched to India to assess the venues where Pakistan’s matches are scheduled to take place.
Additionally, the acting chairman of the board, Zaka Ashraf, and the chief operating officer, Salman Taseer, are set to depart for Durban to attend the ICC meetings. During these meetings, Ashraf is expected to address India’s repeated refusal to send its team to Pakistan, citing security concerns.
The highly anticipated India-Pakistan match in the World Cup is scheduled to be held at Ahmedabad’s massive cricket stadium on October 15. Before that, Pakistan will have two warm-up games in Hyderabad before facing the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in their first two World Cup matches at the same venue. The team is also scheduled to play matches in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. Notably, India and Pakistan only face each other in the Asia Cup or ICC events.
In summary, the formation of the high-level committee by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif aims to evaluate the national cricket team’s participation in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. The committee will assess various aspects of Pakistan-India relations, the government’s policy on sports and politics, and the prevailing situation in India. The committee’s recommendations will be crucial in determining Pakistan’s involvement in the tournament.