The International Cricket Council (ICC) has awarded Pakistan the hosting rights for the Champions Trophy 2025, which will take place in February and March. However, given the Indian government’s expected reluctance to allow the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to send the Indian team to Pakistan, a decision on the Indian matches will be taken in due course.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) formally signed the agreement for the hosting rights of the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 on Friday. The signing of the bond between the two regulatory bodies took place in Dubai. Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf visited the ICC offices in Dubai, where he was accompanied by ICC General Counsel Jonathan Hall to sign the agreement.
It remains to be seen what the Indian team’s next steps will be now that the PCB has signed an agreement with the ICC to host the Champions Trophy in 2025. It will be interesting to watch if the BCCI permits the team to travel to Pakistan for the event.
Zaka Ashraf recently met with Khalid Al Zarooni, the Vice Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, however, the Champions Trophy was not particularly discussed. Despite this, the UAE has stated its continuous support for Pakistan.
According to sources, if BCCI does not send their team to Pakistan, the prospect of shifting some Champions Trophy matches to the UAE cannot be ruled out. Nonetheless, the ICC would be required to bear the increased costs, and a change in the tournament may be required.
The former PCB management committee earlier expressed objections based on ICC papers, forcing legal counsel to be sought. Despite visits to Pakistan by ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice in May, a resolution to the issue remained elusive.
Due to political tensions and security concerns between the two countries, the Indian government is unlikely to permit the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to send the Indian cricket team to play in Pakistan. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is investigating the possibility of settling the political character of the issue at the government level.
The ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will be the ninth edition of the competition. The event was cancelled by the International Cricket Council after Pakistan defeated India in the final in England in 2017. The governing body has just revived the event. For the first time in eight years, the Champions Trophy will be played and the host nation Pakistan would be keen to win the championship in front of its home fans in 2025.