ICC accepts Pakistan’s demand regarding Champions Trophy 2025

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has granted hosting rights for the Champions Trophy 2025, slated for February-March, to Pakistan. The plans so far solely involve holding matches within Pakistan. However, given the anticipated reluctance of the Indian government to permit the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to send the Indian team to Pakistan, a decision on this matter will be taken in due course.

Zaka Ashraf, the head of the PCB management committee, recently held discussions with Khalid Al Zarooni, the Vice Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, though the Champions Trophy was not specifically addressed during their meeting. Despite this, the UAE has expressed unwavering cooperation with Pakistan.

Sources indicate that if India opts not to send its team, the possibility of relocating some Champions Trophy matches to the UAE can’t be ruled out. Nevertheless, the ICC would need to bear the additional expenses, and a modification to the tournament format may become necessary.

It is noteworthy that while the ICC had previously awarded Pakistan the hosting rights for the Champions Trophy, the formal agreement was only signed this past Friday, following a prolonged impasse. The previous PCB management committee had raised objections based on ICC documents, prompting the seeking of legal advice. Despite visits from ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice to Pakistan in May, a resolution to the matter remained elusive.

Pakistan’s stance is unequivocal: if any country cites security concerns as a reason for not sending a team, the ICC should avoid making unilateral decisions. Instead, a comprehensive evaluation, in consultation with an independent security agency, should be conducted. The ICC has acceded to this demand.