Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has constituted a high-level committee headed by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto to decide on the participation of the Pakistan team in the 2023 ODI World Cup to be played in India in October-November this year. The committee will discuss all aspects of India-Pakistan relations, the government’s policy of keeping sports and politics separate and India’s position for players, officials, fans and the media, before submitting its recommendations to PM Sharif. Significantly, the Prime Minister is also the patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The International Cricket Council and the Indian Cricket Board have already announced the World Cup schedule and they are expecting Pakistan to tour India for the Cricket Additional World Cup starting on October 5. However, the PCB has stated that its national team’s participation in the premier competition will depend on government approval due to strained relations between the two countries.

Other members of the committee include Sports Minister Ahsan Mazari, Maryam Aurangzeb, Asad Mahmood, Amin-ul-Haq, Qamar Zaman Kaira and former diplomat Tariq Fatmi. The relevant ministers have already indicated to the PCB that a high-level security delegation will be sent to India to inspect the match venues where Pakistan are scheduled to play matches.

Cricket Board’s Acting President Zaka Ashraf and Chief Operating Officer Salman Taseer will travel to Durban to attend the ICC meeting. In these meetings, Ashraf can often raise the issue of India’s refusal to send his team citing security reasons. The much-awaited World Cup match between India and Pakistan will be played on October 15 at the world’s largest stadium, Ahmedabad. Pakistan, on the other hand, will play both their warm-up matches in Hyderabad and then the World Cup matches against Netherlands and Sri Lanka at the same venue. His team also has to play its matches in Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

Rahul Dev

Cricket Jounralist at Newsdesk

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