Two days after ICC awarded Pakistan the hosting rights for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said the Indian government and the Home Ministry would monitor the security situation in Pakistan when the time comes and accordingly decide whether or not the Indian cricket team will participate in the event.
“When such global tournaments happen several factors are considered. Even, in the past, many countries had pulled out of going there (Pakistan) and play because of security concerns. As you all know, players were even attacked while playing over there and that’s a big issue,” the former BCCI President told reporters.
“So when the time comes, the government will take a decision depending on the circumstances then. The Home Ministry will be involved in decision making,” he added.
On November 16 (Tuesday), the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the names of 14 host countries that would host the ICC’s cricket events between 2024 to 2031. Pakistan has been awarded the privilege to host the ICC Champions Trophy in 2025.
Notably, no bilateral cricket has taken place between India and Pakistan since 2012, however both teams play at ICC events.
BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly made a statement recently on whether India and Pakistan would play a bilateral cricket series soon. Sourav Ganguly said, “This is not in the hands of the boards. At world tournaments, the two teams do play each other. Bilateral cricket has been stopped for years and this is something that the respective governments have to work on.” He made the comment at the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair
Meanwhile, the 2025 Champions Trophy will be the first ICC tournament that will be hosted in Pakistan since the 1996 men’s ODI World Cup which the country had co-hosted with India and Sri Lanka. After the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, Pakistan has not been able to host many international games in the country.
In March 2009, the Sri Lankan cricketers were on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, in their team bus, when a group of masked terrorists attacked them. Five Sri Lankan players, including captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, the vice-captain were injured. Six security personnel and two civilians were killed in the ghastly attack by the terrorists.
Recently, in September, New Zealand and England had also pulled out of their bilateral tours to Pakistan due to security concerns.