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BCCI Sets ‘Only Condition’ That Could See India Travelling To Pakistan For Champions Trophy

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President, Rajeev Shukla said that the Indian team will be sent to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy next year only if the central government gives permission for it. The ICC Champions Trophy will be held next year from February to March 2025 in Pakistan. This comes amid media reports that India may not travel to Pakistan for the tournament. Since 2008’s Asia Cup, India has not played any cricket tournaments in Pakistan due to tense relationships between both nations because of terrorism.

A bilateral series from December 2012-January 2013 in India also marked the final bilateral series between two nations. Since then, both nations have only clashed at ICC tournaments and Asia Cup.

Speaking to the ANI, Shukla said, “In the case of the Champion Trophy, we will do whatever the Government of India will tell us to do. We send our team only when the Government of India gives us permission. So we will go according to the decision of the Indian government.”

Pakistan was compelled to use a hybrid strategy when hosting the Asia Cup last year, with all of India’s matches–including those against Pakistan–taking place in Sri Lanka. The tournament final, which India won, took place in Colombo. Although Pakistan had hinted at the possibility of using a hybrid approach to participate in the ODI World Cup in India the previous year, it was never given any thought. Before they were eliminated in the group rounds, they ultimately played all of their games in India at five different locations.

Pakistan are the defending champions of the Champions Trophy, last held in 2017.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has designated Lahore as the only location for India matches for the Champions Trophy that Pakistan has been awarded for the next year, as ESPNcricinfo reported earlier in May.

According to ESPNcricinfo, PCB has locked three locations–Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi–to host the two-week Champions Trophy. India’s draft schedule calls for them to play all of their games at Lahore, which is also the location of the final.

It is said that the idea of putting India in a single place was put forward to avoid potentially significant logistical and security issues related to their travel. Additionally, it gives Indian fans a comparatively easier choice to visit because it is headquartered in Lahore, which is near the Wagah border crossing between the two countries.

PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi said earlier that the board had sent a draft schedule of the tournament, likely to be staged in mid-February next year, to the ICC. Discussions on it involving the eight participating members will take place, with the major sticking point likely to be whether the India team travels or not.

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