"PCB does not have enough guts to boycott an ICC event" - Danish Kaneria doubts Pakistan will walk the talk on 2023 World Cup
Former Test cricketer Danish Kaneria believes that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not capable of going against the International Cricket Council (ICC) by boycotting next year's 50-over World Cup in India.
Notably, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja has made it clear that Pakistan won't travel to India for the ICC event if the Indian team refuses to tour Pakistan for the next edition of the Asia Cup.
However, Kaneria emphasized that the Men in Green will be the only ones who will suffer if that happens, whereas it won't have any effect on India. The former leg-spinner made these remarks while speaking on his YouTube channel on Saturday, 26 November.
"The PCB does not have enough guts to boycott an ICC event. India, on the other hand, don't care if Pakistan don't come. They have a huge market that generates a lot of revenue. Not travelling to India for the World Cup will have a major effect on Pakistan."
Kaneria claimed that, despite Raja's tall claims, Pakistan will eventually agree to play the World Cup in India. He suggested that the board should avoid making such statements.
"Pakistan will ultimately travel to India for the World Cup. Officials will say that they had no other option as there was pressure from the ICC. It will hurt Pakistan cricket badly if they talk about skipping an ICC event again and again."
Pakistan have been named the hosts for the 2023 Asia Cup. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it clear that they will be pushing for the continental event to be shifted to a neutral venue.
Earlier this year, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah stated that the Indian team will not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. It is worth noting that Shah is also the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
PCB, on its part, has tried to assert its right to host the event. The tours of countries like England and Australia have further strengthened Pakistan's credibility to host major events.
"It could also be possible that, apart from India, teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan also refuse to travel to Pakistan" - Danish Kaneria
Danish Kaneria further went on to say that there is still no clarity about PCB conducting the Asia Cup on its soil, given the political scenario in the nation.
The 41-year-old also pointed out that it is possible that other teams like Afghanistan and Bangladesh could also refuse to play in Pakistan due to several reasons.
"There is still a lot of time for the Asia Cup. We can't be sure that everything will be fine in the country by then or if the tournament will be conducted on Pakistani soil or not. We don't know what the situation will be like during that time.
"It could also be possible that, apart from India, teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan also refuse to travel to Pakistan. The people of Pakistan want the Asia Cup to be played in their country. However, you have to remain on the back foot because of the situation of the nation."
Pakistan are set to host England for a three-match Test series starting on 1 December. The three red-ball fixtures will be played across three venues - in Rawalpindi, Multan, and Karachi.
The last couple of years have seen a return of regular international cricket in the embattled nation. Countries like Sri Lanka, Australia, and Bangladesh have toured the nation. However, due to tensions between India and Pakistan, the Men in Blue are unlikely to play on Pakistani soil, something that annoys PCB.