'It's not some local tournament, it's a bloody World Cup' - Basit Ali's no-nonsense verdict on Pakistan's issue with Indian venues for World Cup
Former Pakistani cricketer Basit Ali has urged the board to set aside their differences and travel to India for the World Cup.
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Pakistan's participation in the 13th edition of the ODI World Cup remains a doubt despite ICC releasing the schedule for the upcoming mega event earlier this month. Pakistan Cricket Board are staying tight-lipped on their participation after revealing their discontentment with the venues of some of their fixtures. Former Pakistani cricketer Basit Ali has urged the board to set aside their differences and travel to India for the World Cup.
PCB are reportedly concerned about Pakistan's high-voltage encounter against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and had also objected to playing in Chennai for the game against Afghanistan. However, former Pakistani cricketer and coach Basit Ali lashed out at the board after their tantrums.
The former cricketer feels that Pakistan should participate in the tournament, given the stature of the competition. He reckoned that the pressure would be on the Indians when they take on Pakistan in a jam-packed stadium in Ahmedabad.
"I am hearing on news channels and YouTube that Pakistan may not be willing to play their matches in Ahmedabad and one more venue. Why not? ICC's schedule for the World Cup is a huge advantage for Pakistan. If 1,25,000 come to attend the match in Ahmedabad, the pressure is on India, and not Pakistan. If India was to play the Asia Cup in Pakistan, then pressure would have been on Pakistan
"I don't know why people can't understand this simple thing. And Afghanistan is a weak team - yes, they have good spinners - but wherever the schedule has been finalised, just play. This is nonsense. I keep hearing that Pakistan may not get the permission. Of course, they will. Boss, it's not some local tournament. It's a bloody World Cup," Basit Ali said on his YouTube channel.
Normally, each team will be playing two warm-up matches, but in Pakistan's case, they will technically be playing 4: Basit Ali
Pakistan will face the last two qualifying teams for the World Cup in their opening two fixtures, which will aid the Men in Green in their preparations for the game against arch-rivals India, according to the former cricketer. Basit labelled the opening two fixtures as additional practice matches, boosting the morale of the Pakistani team.
"Now the second part… the advantage which Pakistan has. Normally, each team will be playing two warm-up matches, but in Pakistan's case, they will technically be playing 4 – two practice games and one each against the two qualifying teams – before they face India in Ahmedabad," he added.