Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said on Thursday that India will host the 2023 edition of the 50-over Cricket World Cup with all the teams.
His comments came after Pakistan threatened to boycott the 2023 WC due to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president Jay Shah confirming that the 2023 Asia Cup will be held at a neutral venue instead of Pakistan.
The Sports Minister said that India is not afraid of any threat and it will not stop them from hosting the tournament.
"It is an internal matter of BCCI and it will handle the issue smartly. We have not done anything wrong yet while hosting international tournaments before. We have hosted World Cup successfully before and all teams participated happily. We will host the tournament next year and all teams will play in it," said Thakur.
2023 will mark the first time ever that India will host the marquee cricketing event by itself. It co-hosted the 1987 World Cup with Pakistan and the 1996 World Cup with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The tournament made its return to India in 2011 when it co-hosted it along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India also emerged as victorious in the 2011 edition of the tournament.
Notably on Wednesday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in an official statement said that BCCI Secretary Jay Shah's comments about holding the 2023 Asia Cup at a neutral venue instead of Pakistan could affect the country's visit to India for the 50-over World Cup next year.
"The overall impact of such statements has the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities and can impact Pakistan's visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle." read a statement from PCB.
"The PCB has noted with surprise and disappointment yesterday's comments made by the ACC President Mr Jay Shah with regards to shifting of next year's Asia Cup to a neutral venue. The comments were made without any discussion or consultation with the Board of the Asian Cricket Council or the Pakistan Cricket Board (event host) and without any thoughts towards their long-term consequences and implications."
"After having presided over the ACC meeting during which Pakistan was awarded the ACC Asia Cup with overwhelming support and response from the ACC Board Members, Shah's statement of shifting of the ACC Asia Cup has clearly been made unilaterally. This is contrary to the philosophy and spirit for which the Asian Cricket Council was formed in September 1983, a united Asian cricket body to safeguard the interests of its members and organise, develop, and promote the game of cricket in Asia."
"The PCB has to date not received any official communication from the ACC on the statement of the ACC President. As such, the PCB has written to the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible on this important and sensitive matter," the statement concluded.
The BCCI secretary on Tuesday completely dismissed speculation of Team India travelling to Pakistan for the event and said that the Asia Cup would be held at a neutral venue.
"We will have Asia Cup 2023 at a neutral venue. It's the government which decides over the permission of the team visiting Pakistan so we won't comment on that but for the 2023 Asia Cup it's decided that the tournament will be held at some neutral venue," Shah told reporters after the 91st Annual General Meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was held on Tuesday in Mumbai.
(With Inputs from ANI)