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Will India travel to the Champions Cup in 2025 in Pakistan: PCB Chairman hopes to secure assurances at the ICC meeting

In anticipation of the upcoming Champions Cup in 2025, scheduled for February-March next year, one of the main intrigues remains: will the Indian team participate in the tournament to be held in Pakistan? The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already granted Pakistan the right to host this prestigious competition, but the final decision on the participation of the Indian team remains uncertain.

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Background of the question

The question of the participation of the Indian team in a tournament held in Pakistan is not new. Last year, Pakistan and India had to compromise when organizing the Asia Cup, dividing the matches between the two countries. Pakistan hosted only four games, while the rest took place in Sri Lanka. This “hybrid model” became a forced decision due to the tense relations between the two neighboring states.

Pakistan’s stance

Pakistan is clear in stating that the ICC should not make unilateral concessions if any country cites security concerns as a reason for refusing to participate. Instead, according to Pakistan, a thorough assessment of the situation in collaboration with an impartial security organization is necessary. This requirement has been met by the ICC.

Preparing for the Champions Cup in 2025, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has faced numerous challenges related to logistics and security. Last year, the PCB signed an agreement to hold some games in Dubai, acknowledging that hosting such a massive tournament for Pakistan alone would be challenging. However, the PCB recently concluded a major financial deal to modernize three main stadiums for the event and address other unresolved issues.

For Pakistan, hosting the Champions Cup could be a significant boost to economic development. Global media attention, an influx of tourists and fans, investments in infrastructure – all of these can bring tangible dividends and contribute to improving the country’s image on the international stage. Perhaps these economic factors will also play a role in the final decision on India’s participation in the tournament.

The main intrigue: Will India come?

Despite all the preparation efforts, the key question for the PCB remains – will India agree to send its team to Pakistan? PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi hopes to get an answer at the upcoming ICC meeting in Dubai, where he will meet with the executive council and the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Jay Shah.

India’s position

The Indian side maintains a cautious position. According to a BCCI source, any decision on the participation of the Indian national team in the tournament in Pakistan will remain the prerogative of the government. The BCCI will have to follow the authorities’ instructions, considering the political tension between the two countries. At the same time, a representative of the BCCI noted that seeking permission from the government at the time of the Dubai meeting would be premature.

Seeking security assurances

Hosting a major international tournament like the ICC Champions Cup is a serious test for any organizing country. Pakistan will have to solve many tasks to ensure flawless hospitality at the highest level. In addition to modernizing stadium infrastructure, impeccable logistics will be required to accommodate teams, officials, fans, and media representatives.

PCB Chairman Naqvi plans to convince the ICC and BCCI that the participation of the Indian team is crucial for the successful conduct of the Champions Cup. He will seek security assurances for Indian players and officials, especially after the formation of the new government in Pakistan following the recent elections.

Diplomatic aspects of the issue should not be overlooked. The arrival of the Indian team in Pakistan will have significant political resonance. The PCB and the leadership of Pakistan will have to exert maximum efforts on the diplomatic front to convince the Indian side of peaceful intentions and obtain official approval for the participation of the “Men in Blue.”

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