Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has expressed his support for Pakistan’s participation in the ODI World Cup in India. He stated that denying the opportunity to compete would be unfair to the fans who eagerly anticipate the high-stakes clash between the arch-rivals. Misbah made these remarks at a function in Karachi. He emphasized that cricket should not be entangled with political relations and that other sports have seen interactions between the two nations.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that the team’s participation in the World Cup, scheduled for October-November this year, is contingent on government clearance due to strained relations between the countries. Geopolitical tensions have already led India to decline playing their Asia Cup matches in Pakistan. Which resulted in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) organizing a hybrid model event split between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Misbah believes it is time for Pakistan to visit India for cricket. Also, the Indian team should reciprocate by playing matches in Pakistan. He expressed confidence in his team’s ability to perform well in Indian conditions, citing previous experiences of enjoying the pressure and crowd support in India.
The former captain advised the players to focus solely on the game and winning the World Cup. He urged them not to be affected by external factors. He stressed the importance of selecting the right playing XIs for specific venues and opponents.
ICC chair Greg Barclay has stated that all ten participating teams are expected to honor their commitment and participate in the World Cup. He dismissed any suggestion of non-participation. Misbah’s fellow cricketer Shahid Afridi also supported Pakistan’s participation in the tournament. He highlighted the thrill of playing under pressure and expressing his opposition to boycotting the World Cup.
In summary, Misbah-ul-Haq advocates for Pakistan’s inclusion in the ODI World Cup in India. He emphasized the unfairness of depriving fans of the highly anticipated rivalry. He believes cricket should not be linked to political tensions and calls for reciprocal visits between the two nations. The focus should be on preparing for the World Cup and selecting the right playing XIs for each venue. ICC expects all teams to participate. Afridi also supports Pakistan’s involvement, stating that they should compete and strive to win the tournament.