ICC delegation to visit Pakistan with World Cup participation as the main agenda.On Tuesday, ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice are scheduled to visit Pakistan.
The main focus of their discussions will revolve around Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup, which is set to take place in India in October-November this year. This visit is part of the regular visits conducted by ICC officials to Full Members. Due to the strained relations between India and Pakistan, PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) head Najam Sethi has suggested that there is a possibility that the Pakistani government may not permit the team to travel to India.
The announcement of the World Cup schedule is expected to occur during the World Test Championship final, commencing on June 7 at The Oval. However, uncertainties persist regarding Pakistan’s participation in the tournament. The concerns arose when India declined to visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup, which was scheduled for September.
Additionally, India did not agree to the PCB’s proposed hybrid model, which suggested that only four out of the 13 Asia Cup matches would be played in Pakistan. According to this proposal, the remaining nine matches, including the final, would be held at a neutral venue.
Wasim Khan’s opinion:
Pakistan’s hosting of the tournament has not yet received the official approval of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), as per the proposal put forward by the PCB. However, the heads of the cricket boards of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are planning to hold informal discussions on the Asia Cup during the IPL final in Ahmedabad.
According to Wasim Khan, the ICC’s General Manager of Cricket, the tournament discussions between India and Pakistan are still ongoing. He mentioned that ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice are currently in Pakistan, engaging in talks with the PCB leadership to address various matters.
The final decisions regarding the tournament and the two countries’ involvement will be made by the respective countries’ cricket boards and the ICC. The visit by Barclay and Allardice to Pakistan marks the first visit by high-ranking ICC officials since the visit of then-president Ray Mali in 2008.
Their two-day visit will cover a range of topics, including discussions on the ICC’s financial model and considerations for Pakistan hosting the Champions Trophy in February 2025. It is understood that Barclay also visited India before his trip to Pakistan.
After a long gap since co-hosting the 1996 World Cup, Pakistan earned the right last year to host an ICC event. Initially scheduled to host the Champions Trophy in 2008, security concerns led to its postponement to 2009, and eventually, South Africa hosted the tournament.
Pakistan’s hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup were also revoked following an attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009. In recent years, Pakistan has successfully staged international cricket, welcoming teams like South Africa, Australia, England, and New Zealand for full tours. However, matches against India have been limited to ICC and ACC events.
Additionally, the PCB intends to address its concerns with the ICC regarding the proposed revenue-distribution model. While the model is yet to be finalized, it is expected to be approved in June and formally adopted at the ICC’s AGM in Durban in July. The PCB, led by Najam Sethi, has expressed the need for more details on the workings of the proposed model before approving it. According to the model, the BCCI is anticipated to receive 38.5% of the ICC’s annual projected earnings of $600 million, while the PCB’s share would be significantly lower, at only 5.65%