Will India play Pakistan after it bags hosting rights from ICC? 'Govt to take a decision on it', says Sports Minister

Sports    17-Nov-2021
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New Delhi, Nov 17: The last time India took part in bilateral series or match against Pakistan was way back in the 2012-13 season. Now, after almost a decade, the Men in Blue might have to visit their arch-rivals shores in 2025 with Pakistan winning the right to host ICC Champions Trophy there in four years' time.
The tension between the neighboring countries has been nothing but turned to soar with years passing by. Now, with the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and the international platform pointing fingers at Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism and sheltering the Taliban, the political relations have been strained further. It has meant that cricket matches between India and Pakistan are few and far between. The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 match last month in Dubai between India and Pakistan was the first one between the two sides since the 2019 50-over World Cup.
india pak champions troph
Notably, most cricket teams are still wary about touring Pakistan. New Zealand was the latest team to pull out of a Pakistan tour just before the T20 World Cup this year, claiming there was a credible security threat. England followed soon after, canceling their proposed limited-overs tour of Pakistan as well.
Also Read: After NZ, England too pulls out tour of Pakistan, cites players' concerns
Pakistan, who had last co-hosted the 1996 World Cup along with India and Sri Lanka, have not been able to host many international games in the country since the 2009 terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Saturday (13 November) was asked when India and Pakistan’s bilateral ties can resume.
“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. This is not in Rameez’s (Raja) hands, nor mine,” Ganguly had said.
Also Read: New Zealand calls off Pakistan tour minutes before first ODI citing 'security alert'
Speaking on the same matter, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur has said the Indian government and the Home Ministry will take a call on India's participation in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan when the time comes. When asked about his views regarding Pakistan being the host, Anurag Thakur during a media interaction said, "When the time will come, the Indian government and the Home Ministry will take a decision. During the international championships, all the factors are looked upon."
"Even in past, many countries have refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns. As you all know, many players were even attacked while playing over there and that's a big issue to be dealt with," he added.