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"Test cricket needs India vs Pakistan" - PCB chairman Ramiz Raja makes strong statement amidst Asia Cup 2023 hosting rights controversy

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Pakistan have raised the possibility of withdrawing from the 2023 World Cup in India
Pakistan have raised the possibility of withdrawing from the 2023 World Cup in India

In a recent development, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has requested the urgency for an India vs Pakistan series amidst the controversy surrounding the Asia Cup 2023 hosting rights.

He has also outright declared that the subcontinent nation can pull out of the 2023 ODI World Cup in India if their hosting rights for the 2023 Asia Cup are taken away. The decision could, in return, lead to serious ramifications from the ICC.

However, Ramiz Raja has now directed it at the BCCI with a bold response on the ICC query.

Ramiz Raja wants cricket to be the differentiator

Ramiz Raja wants the Men in Blue to keep aside their bilateral political differences and travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup next year.

Speaking to the BBC's Test Match Special, Ramiz explained his opinion with an example from the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

He said:

"You saw what happened in the World Cup - 90,000 fans turned up [at MCG]. I am just a little disappointed with the ICC.
"When the point was put to the FIFA president why is the US playing Iran, Iran has so many issues regarding women's rights, he picked up the football and said this can solve a lot of issues. Through sport we can take care of the tribe mentality. I feel let bat and ball talk."

The PCB chairman also highlighted that it was the BCCI who initially created the issue. In October, amid the rumors of the Indians traveling to Pakistan for the first time in 14 years, BCCI secretary Jay Shah revealed that such would not happen and pressed for a change of venue.

Ramiz pointed out:

"What happens if the government of Pakistan doesn't allow Pakistan to travel to India because of security issues? It is quite an emotional subject here. The debate was started by BCCI in a way. We had to respond. Test cricket needs India v Pakistan."

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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