“If India won’t play in Pakistan”: Najam Sethi backs Ramiz Raja’s stand, takes Jay Shah by ‘surprise’


Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Najam Sethi has reportedly repeated his predecessor Ramiz Raja’s stand, taking BCCI Secretary Jay Shah by ‘surprise.’ This was after Sethi, who recently replaced Raja as the chief of the PCB, told Jay Shah that Pakistan will not travel to India to take part in the World Cup if India refused to play in the Asia Cup, to be hosted by Pakistan later this year.

Najam Sethi

According to a Pakistani news website, Sethi told Shah in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Executive Board meeting, “Najam Sethi told Jay Shah that if India won’t play in Pakistan, we won’t play in India. Najam has given a clear message to the Indian counterpart, who also heads the ACC these days.”

Quoting a source, the News website reported, “Sethi’s stance took Jay Shah by surprise as he was not expecting this.”

Before Sethi took over as the new boss of the PCB, Raja had taken a similar stand vowing to boycott the World Cup hosted by India if the latter did not travel to Pakistan.

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India have faced Pakistan in World Cup matches but have not travelled to the neighbouring country since 2008 Asia Cup. As for Pakistan, the last time they were in India was in 2012 when they played six-match white-ball bilateral series. The Indian cricket board has taken a hawkish stand against travelling to Pakistan since Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister in 2014.

Sethi reportedly to the ACC that ‘Pakistan will not only host the Asia Cup in September, but it will also go on to host the Champions Trophy in 2025.’ He said that ‘all major international Test-playing nations, including Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa have enjoyed playing international cricket in Pakistan in recent times.’

“These countries were full of praise for Pakistan’s hosting rights. The same is the case with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) participants. So, there is no point in even considering depriving Pakistan of its hosting rights,” Sethi was quoted as saying.

As well as being the secretary of the BCCI, Shah is also the head of the ACC.