CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Wasim Khan has clarified that his statement of not touring India for next year’s T20 World Cup was blown out of proportion and what he actually wanted to say was that he needed to be convinced about the security of Pakistan’s players for the ICC event.
On Saturday, Khan had said that Pakistan would not tour India to play the T20 World Cup in 2021 if India were to back out of the 2020 Asia Cup, to be hosted by Pakistan in September. Khan insisted he never threatened to boycott the tournament or pull out of it and it was a matter of security concern.
“Not at all. We never stated at any stage that Pakistan would not be touring India. The context of the conversation was based around Asia Cup which we have been awarded and we are due to host in September this year,” the PCB CEO told PTI.
“What I said was that we need to be convinced about security of our players for the 2021 World T20 in India. That is, if we are granted visas. But never did I say that we would be pulling out of the T20 World Cup. It is an ICC tournament and it will be factually incorrect to state that we will pull out of a World Cup if India didn’t come to play Asia Cup.”
With the Asia Cup being held in Pakistan, there remains doubts over India’s participation in the event. India are the defending champions having beaten Bangladesh in the final of the 2018 edition in the UAE, and Khan said that the option of India playing at a neutral venue is always open but the call will rest on the Asian Cricket Council.
“The question is what if India doesn’t tour Pakistan? My response is the ACC then needs to make a decision but since we have been awarded hosting rights, we fully expect the Asia Cup to happen in Pakistan. The ACC will then need to make a decision as to where they will play the India games,” Khan said.
“Possibly. If there’s an India versus Pakistan final, it depends upon the ACC to decide where the final is played. Discussions haven’t taken place yet on formats and scheduling but then that’s ACC’s call.”
As for any possibility of the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan, Khan said now may not be the best of times to touch upon the topic.
“Sourav (Ganguly) is someone I have huge amount of respect for as a cricketer and as a human being. But no discussions so far… but we can have open discussions about things. There hasn’t been any ICC meetings of late so haven’t met anyone from the BCCI,” he explained. “Now is not the right time and we understand that. But, hopefully, in the near future, we can do that.”