Pakistan issues a threat to pull out of World Cup 2023
Pakistan warns India that if it chooses not to participate in the Asia Cup held in Pakistan, Pakistan will withdraw from the 2023 World Cup in India.
Pakistan’s Sports Minister, Ehsaan Mazari, has issued a stern ultimatum to India, stating that if India refuses to participate in the Asia Cup held in Pakistan, Pakistan will retaliate by withdrawing from the 2023 World Cup to be held in India.

In an interview with The Indian Express, Mazari, who oversees the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), shared his personal viewpoint. He emphasized that if India insists on playing their Asia Cup matches at a neutral venue, Pakistan will demand the same for their World Cup matches in India. Mazari’s remarks were prompted by the formation of a high-profile committee by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, tasked with examining the country’s participation in the upcoming World Cup hosted by India. The committee, led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, aims to provide recommendations to the Prime Minister, who also serves as the patron-in-chief of the PCB.

While the specific schedule for the Asia Cup is yet to be announced, it is speculated that the tournament will be jointly hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Reports suggest that India may play all their matches in Sri Lanka, a proposition that Mazari opposes, asserting Pakistan’s right to host all matches on its own soil.

Mazari expressed his bewilderment over India’s reluctance to play cricket in Pakistan and accused the Indian government of politicizing sports. He pointed out instances of other Indian sports teams visiting Pakistan, such as a baseball contingent and a bridge team, underscoring the need for cricket tours to resume between the two nations. In response to security concerns, Mazari dismissed them as unfounded, citing the recent visits of the New Zealand and England cricket teams to Pakistan, which were accompanied by high-level security. He also highlighted the successful hosting of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which featured numerous foreign players.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has urged Pakistan to honor its participation agreement for the World Cup, expressing confidence that Pakistan will ultimately compete in the prestigious tournament hosted by India.

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