For the first time since bilateral cricketing ties between India and Pakistan were put on hold following the terror 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) representative will travel to Pakistan during Asia Cup 2023. Roger Binny, BCCI president and Rajeev Shukla, the vice-president of the Indian board, have accepted the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after getting the necessary approvals, reported news agency PTI. The BCCI top bosses will land in Lahore on September 4 and stay there till the 7th to watch a couple of Asia Cup matches.
The last BCCI representative visited Pakistan during the 2008 Asia Cup, months before the terror attacks in Mumbai. It is a significant development considering the fact that the relationship between BCCI and PCB has not been at its best in the last few years. Notably, despite repeated requests and even a World Cup pull-out threat from PCB, BCCI stayed firm in its stance of not sending the Indian team to Pakistan to take part in this year’s Asia Cup.
After a lot of deliberation, the members of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), agreed to a hybrid model which will see India playing all its matches (including the ones against Pakistan) in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan play Nepal in the first match of the regional event on August 30 in Multan after which four games will move to Sri Lanka for the remaining matches including the much anticipated Pakistan and India encounter.
“Binny, Shukla and secretary Jay Shah will be in Sri Lanka for the marquee India vs Pakistan clash in Pallekele (Kandy) on September 2. The trio will be back in India on September 3 after which BCCI president and vice-president will travel through Wagah border to Lahore,” a source privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
In fact, both Binny and Shukla have been invited with their respective spouses for an official dinner scheduled to be hosted by the PCB at the Governor’s House in Lahore on September 4.
It is understood that two BCCI biggies will watch the Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka game on September 5 and Pakistan’s opening Super Four fixture on the next day.
It must be mentioned that senior BCCI official and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shukla had also been a part of the Indian cricket contingent when Sourav Ganguly led the team to a historic series win in 2004.