NEW DELHI: Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday said that the Home Ministry would take a call on the India cricket team’s travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup next year, but added that the chances of players going across the border “are not much”.
Thakur though expects Pakistan to come to India to compete in the 50-over World Cup next year, saying “all are welcome”. The BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who is also the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief, had on Tuesday said that the India team would not travel to Pakistan for the continental event and that it would like to play the tournament at a neutral venue.
It had prompted Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to say that the statement may affect its team’s participation in the World Cup in India. “All teams who qualify are invited [to compete on Indian soil]. Pakistan teams have come to India and played many times. I feel India is not in a position to be dictated [by someone] and there is no reason for anyone to do that. I expect all countries to come and compete,” Thakur said.
Asked about the possibility of the India team travelling to the neighbouring country for the Asia Cup next year, Thakur said: “Anything can happen, but the chances are not much. It is a decision that will be taken by the Home Ministry. Overall, players’ safety and security are important.”
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