WATCH: “A lot of work needs to be done to revitalise Pakistan-India cricket”, says PCB chief Ramiz Raja

India and Pakistan last met in World Cup 2019 | Getty

PCB chief Ramiz Raja on Monday (October 18) confirmed that the Asia Cup 2023 will be played in Pakistan as the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has allotted them the hosting rights of the multi-nation tournament.

However, Ramiz was pessimistic about having a bilateral series against India in near future since a “lot of work still needs to be done” to reach a “comfortable level”.

Last week, Ramiz attended the ACC meet in Dubai where he discussed the roadmap of Asia Cup and also had a discussion with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah.

“The ACC has agreed and approved that the 2023 event in Pakistan will be a 50-over competition and will be held in September. This aligns very nicely with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which will be held in October and November (in India),” Raja said in a video posted on PCB’s official Twitter account.

 “We are looking forward to hosting this tournament in Pakistan and I am confident it will be a well-organised event because this is what the fans want.

“The ACC has also confirmed next year’s tournament in Sri Lanka will be played on a 20-over format and will be a prelude to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 to be held in Australia from 16 October to 13 November,” he added.

ACC might have awarded the hosting rights to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup, but it remains to be seen if BCCI will get approval from the government to send the Indian team to the neighboring country.

It is worth mentioning here that India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series since 2012 due to the political hostilities between the two nations.

Sharing the experience of his meeting with the BCCI officials, Raja said: “A lot of work needs to be done to revitalise Pakistan-India cricket but there needs to be some comfortable level between the two boards and then we can see how far we can go. So overall, we had a good discussion.”

“I met with BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah on the sidelines of the ACC meetings. We need to create a cricketing bond, while I have also believed that politics should stay away from sport as much as possible and this has always been our stance,” he further remarked.

The PCB chairman also highlighted the importance of having a strong Asian Cricket Council.

“The ACC was set-up to create a unified approach and collective stance so that we had one voice and if there was a situation, all stood together.

“I would like to see our relationship with other boards and the ACC to be strong so that if there is an issue, like we had with the withdrawal of a couple of sides, a strong and joint statement could come out from the ACC platform.

“My message at the ACC was that we should not forget this philosophy and I am optimistic there will be better outcomes in future,” he concluded.