There have been discussions around the possibility of Pakistan playing its 2023 ODI World Cup matches in Bangladesh instead of India, who is set to host the tournament. The idea was brought up during ICC meetings last week due to the tense political relations between India and Pakistan. The hybrid Asia Cup model was proposed as a solution to allow India to play their games at a neutral venue, with Pakistan hosting the tournament.
While no formal discussions have taken place yet, the PCB has highlighted the potential impact on the ICC’s Champions Trophy, set to be held in Pakistan in February 2025. The Asian Cricket Council has agreed to consider a hybrid model that would allow India’s matches to be played at a neutral venue that is yet to be finalised, with options including the UAE, Oman, Sri Lanka, or even England. India-Pakistan games and the final would also be played at the neutral venue.
The PCB proposed that this solution could also be applied to the World Cup, with Bangladesh being considered as an option due to its proximity to India and the ease of overcoming logistical hurdles. The tournament is scheduled to be played across ten venues in India from October 5, and the nature of Pakistan’s participation depends on what India decides with the Asia Cup.
In the past, the Asia Cup has been moved to the UAE due to political tensions between India and Pakistan. The hosting rights were with Sri Lanka, but they had swapped those with Pakistan in 2020, and in 2018, the tournament was moved to the UAE from India for similar reasons.