'No need to get shocked or worried'- Salman Butt reacts to BCCI secretary Jay Shah's statement
Salman Butt has said that he is not at all surprised at the BCCI's decision to not send the Indian team to Pakistan for next year's Asia Cup.
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Former Pakistan batter Salman Butt has said that India's move to shift the next year's 50-overs Asia Cup at a neutral venue does not come as a shocker by any means as they were never really keen on playing a bilateral series in Pakistan. He also claimed that all of Pakistan's previous invitations to India for playing in their country have gone unheard.
It so happened that after Jay Shah was re-elected as the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) secretary at the 91st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, October 18, he immediately made a huge statement that the Indian team would not be traveling to the neighbouring country to participate in the continental tournament.
Pakistan have invited them but they don't want to play: Salman Butt
"Pakistan have invited them but they don't want to play. They should've accepted the invitation, but what can we say about it? Their stand has been firm on the same for a long time. They also don't want to play bilateral series at neutral venues. Other teams also played bilateral against Pakistan in the UAE. India play Pakistan in World Cups, Asia Cups," Butt said while speaking on his YouTube channel.
"If they have the policy of not playing Pakistan, there's no reason to get shocked or worried. If they don't want to play, you can't force them. There is no point in playing at a neutral venue. This is all because of politics. So no need to get shocked or worried. The least you could do is not play the World Cup, or ask for a neutral venue," he added.
Apart from Butt, Pakistan batting icon Saeed Anwar and veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi have also criticized the BCCI for planning to take the Asia Cup 2023 hosting rights away from their country. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reportedly also warned BCCI of the severe consequences that the latter will have to face for making such a decision.
PCB has hinted that if its Asia Cup hosting rights are taken away then Pakistan might pull out of the 2023 50-overs World Cup slated to happen in India or demand it to be organized at a neutral venue.