Home ministry will take decision regarding India's participation in Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan: Anurag Thakur

ICC announced Pakistan as the hosts for the event on November 16.

Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)

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Anurag Thakur, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, on November 17 stated that the decision regarding India’s participation in the Champions Trophy 2025, set to be hosted by Pakistan, will be made by the home ministry.

His comments come after the International Cricket Council (ICC), on November 16, announced the hosts for each major tournament in the Future Tours Programme (FTP) cycle 2023-31, with Pakistan getting the rights to host a multi-team event straight after the 1996 ODI World Cup, which they co-hosted with India and Sri Lanka.

“When the time comes, we’ll see what to do. The home ministry will be involved in decision making. Lot of countries have pulled out of going to Pakistan due to security issues. We’ll assess the security then and decide,” Thakur was quoted as saying by Times Now.

“Even in past, many countries have refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns. As you all know, many players were even attacked while playing over there and that’s a big issue to be dealt with,” he added.

In the aftermath of the Sri Lanka team bus attack in Lahore in 2009, hosting of international cricket in Pakistan has been nearly at a standstill, although the situation has improved in the last few years, with the country having hosted Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and South Africa across different series apart from the successful conduction of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Further, West Indies and Australia are in line for Pakistan tours in the coming months, although both New Zealand (security threat) and England (bio-bubble fatigue and players’ mental health) recently pulled out of their tours before the T20 World Cup 2021.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja, meanwhile, was chuffed by ICC’s decision to grant them the hosting rights of the event. “It delights me no end that Pakistan will be hosting this prestigious world tournament. It is going to be a viewing boon to millions of Pakistani fans who had to wait patiently for years to be part of something as grand as this. The world will sample our hospitality to go with our great exciting cricket,” he told Cricbuzz.

Pakistan will be defending the title, having won the previous edition of the tournament held in the United Kingdom in 2017 by defeating India in the final.