Play us or forfeit the match, PCB warns India

Najam Sethi
Pakistan’s cricket chief Najam Sethi speaks with media representatives. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in no mood to settle for a negotiation regarding the ICC Champions Trophy clash. Pakistan has made it clear that they wish to play against India next year. In case the Indian team refuses to play them, the PCB wants the match to be forfeited. India and Pakistan are scheduled to lock horns on June 4, 2017 in the ICC Champions Trophy group stage match. There were no clouds over the match earlier.

However, in an ICC meet last month, BCCI President Anurag Thakur requested the ICC to not keep India and Pakistan in the same group in ICC events. The request was made citing political tensions between the arch rivals. The PCB chief executive Najam Sethi reflected back on the same at a recent press conference. He quoted that during the meet he had made his point clear. India should either play Pakistan or forfeit the match. “I made it clear that either they will have to play us or forfeit the match,” Sethi quoted.


Sethi further added that there is no middle way solution to the issue. Sethi believes that the board should also get compensation if India pulls out of the match. The match is already sold out and is keenly awaited. “There is no other way. I also raised the matter to give PCB compensation for the losses the board will suffer due to India’s refusal to play Pakistan,” he added.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan also backed the words of Najam Sethi. He cited the example of England team that had pulled out of the World Cup match in Zimbabwe in ICC World Cup 2003. Back then, the English team had refused to travel to Zimbabwe on racial discrimination grounds. Zimbabwe were given the points for the match and had registered a walkover win. “The ICC rules are already there. England had to forfeit a World Cup (2003) match after they refused to travel to Zimbabwe due to political tensions,” pointed Khan.

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ICC had proposed to form a committee to resolve the issue. However, the PCB chairman feels any such committee is redundant. In his opinion, the points should go to the team that is ready to play on the day. “I don’t think there is a need of forming a committee as the rules are clear. The Birmingham match has already been sold out. Pakistan-India game is the most lucrative match and points should go to the team which is ready to play,” said the PCB Chairman.