Former Pakistan opener Imran Nazir has made a controversial statement, claiming that India do not want to come to Pakistan because they are scared of losing. According to Nazir, citing security issues as a reason for not visiting the country is just an ‘excuse’.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been at loggerheads over the hosting of the Asia Cup 2023. Pakistan have the hosting rights for the event. However, the Indian cricket board has made it clear that they will not travel to Pakistan for the tournament.
According to recent reports, India’s Asia Cup 2023 matches could be shifted to neutral venues, while other matches could be held in Pakistan as scheduled.
Speaking on the Nadir Ali podcast, Nazir hit out at India’s claims over security concerns. He commented:
"There is no security reason. Just look at how many teams have been to Pakistan. Forget A teams, even Australia visited. These are all just cover-ups. The truth is that India won't come to Pakistan [for Asia Cup] because they are afraid of losing. Security is just an excuse. Come and play cricket. When you start playing politics, there is no way back.”
India last visited Pakistan in 2008 when they featured in the Asia Cup. They reached the final where they went down to Sri Lanka by 100 runs.
Following the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, Indo-Pak bilateral ties have come to a near standstill. Pakistan last visited India in 2012-13 for a short white-ball series.
“People want to watch India vs Pakistan games” - Imran Nazir
Batting for the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral matches, Nazir claimed that while fans are eager to watch the tussle, India cannot tolerate losing to their arch-rivals. The 41-year-old said:
"People want to watch India vs Pakistan games because there is a different level of excitement to it. The entire world knows it. Even we as cricketers feel that for cricket to reach every corner of the world, India-Pakistan matches need to happen. We used to play so much cricket. They are such a balanced team but India cannot tolerate losing. It's a game; you'll win some, you'll lose some.”
India-Pakistan matches are only held as part of the ICC and ACC (Asia Cup) events. The neighboring countries played out a classic in the T20 World Cup last year at the MCG, with India sneaking home off the last ball.
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