Najam Sethi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee, has responded to former cricketer, Shahid Afridi’s criticism regarding the possibility of Men in Green boycotting the World Cup in India over the Asia Cup venue fiasco.
In his remarks, Afridi expressed his confusion over the PCB’s insistence on not going to India for the World Cup.
“I don’t understand why they [PCB] are so adamant and keep saying that we won’t go to India. They need to simplify the situation and understand that an international cricket tournament is happening – take it rather positively; go and play. Tell your boys to get the trophy; the whole nation stands behind you. It’ll not only be a big win for us but a tight slap on the face of BCCI,” Afridi had said.
In response, Sethi clarified that the decision to participate in the World Cup did not rest with Afridi, himself, or even Jay Shah, the secretary of the BCCI.
“The decision to go for the World Cup is not Shahid Afridi’s, nor is it Jay Shah’s or mine. This decision belongs to the Indian government on their side and the Pakistani government on our side,” Sethi told BBC.
Sethi emphasized that if the Pakistani government assured the PCB that it was safe for the team to travel to India and play in the World Cup, then Pakistan would certainly participate. He emphasized that the PCB’s stance was contingent upon the clearance from the Pakistani government regarding the security situation in India.
“If the Pakistani government says that our team can go and play the World Cup in India, then we will definitely go,” he said.
The decision ultimately lies with the respective governments, and until the security situation is deemed satisfactory, the PCB will carefully evaluate and consider all factors before making a final determination on Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup.