News Brief

ICC Plans India-Pakistan Match In Lahore; BCCI Should Read The Riot Act To Pakistan

Swarajya Staff

Jun 10, 2024, 01:27 PM | Updated 01:26 PM IST

The 2019 cricket World Cup trophy. Representative image. (Twitter @ICC)
The 2019 cricket World Cup trophy. Representative image. (Twitter @ICC)

As India and Pakistan concluded a fiercely contested match in New York on Sunday (09 June), their next major encounter again seems to be on the horizon.

The arch-rivals are set to face each other again in eight months during the Champions Trophy in March 2025, unless they meet in the knockouts of the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean later this month.

According to a report from Cricbuzz, the draft schedule for the 2025 Champions Trophy has been submitted to the International Cricket Council (ICC), with the India-Pakistan match scheduled as the final league game of the eight-team, 15-match competition.

According to the proposed schedule, the match is set to be held in Lahore, pending approval from the government of India to play in Pakistan.

If approval is not granted, the tournament may adopt a hybrid model similar to last year's Asia Cup, with the UAE hosting the India games.

Although, at this stage, neither the PCB nor the ICC is discussing a hybrid model, although last-minute changes are not unprecedented. The focus now shifts to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the government of India.

This report comes in the background of the recent terrorist attack on Hindu pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district. At least nine pilgrims were killed and 33 were injured in the terror attack.

Terrorists fired on a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims near Teryath village in J&K's Reasi district, following which the bus fell into a gorge. There has been speculation of a Pakistani hand behind the terrorist attacks.

In this context, BCCI should take a firm stand and read the Riot Act to Pakistan, which means "after being caught engaging in antisocial behaviour, one should be chastised accordingly". Thus, BCCI should continue its ban on not playing matches in Pakistan.

India has not travelled to Pakistan since the 2008 Asia Cup owing to the political tension between the two countries and there is no reason it should break the rule now.

However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been advised to proceed with its preparations.

The PCB has designated Lahore, Karachi, and Rawalpindi as venues for the 20-day competition, with Lahore slated to host the India games. The schedule includes seven matches in Lahore, five in Rawalpindi, and three in Karachi.

Karachi is expected to host the opening match on 19 February, with the two semifinals taking place in Karachi and Rawalpindi. The final, scheduled for 9 March, will be held in Lahore, which will also host all India games and a semifinal if India qualifies.

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