India Unlikely to Travel to Pakistan for 2025 Champions Trophy, Casting Shadow on Tournament


 The highly anticipated ICC Champions Trophy, scheduled for February-March 2025 in Pakistan, is facing a potential relocation due to India’s security concerns.

According to news agency ANI, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly conveyed its unwillingness to travel to Pakistan for the marquee tournament. This stance could significantly impact the event as India is a major cricketing power and a key viewership draw.

Reports suggest the BCCI is likely to request the ICC to hold India’s matches in a neutral venue, possibly Sri Lanka or Dubai. This comes after Pakistan reportedly proposed hosting all of India’s matches in one city, presumably Lahore, to minimize travel and security risks. However, the Indian board remains apprehensive about touring Pakistan due to the ongoing political tensions between the two nations.

Bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan have been on hold since 2008 due to strained political relations. The potential relocation of the Champions Trophy could mark the second major tournament in as many years to be moved out of Pakistan for this reason. In 2023, the Asia Cup adopted a “hybrid model” where all of India’s matches were played in Sri Lanka, while other teams competed in Pakistan.

The BCCI has indicated a dependence on the Indian government’s decision regarding the team’s participation in Pakistan. Vice-President Rajeev Shukla stated that the board would only send the team if the government grants permission, highlighting the complex interplay between politics and cricket.

Pakistan, the defending champions of the Champions Trophy (having won the 2017 edition), might be forced to host the tournament without their arch-rivals India if the relocation request is approved. This scenario would undoubtedly affect the overall excitement and viewership of the tournament.

The ICC will now need to address the BCCI’s concerns and determine the most viable course of action to ensure the successful conduct of the Champions Trophy. The decision could have significant implications for both cricket fans and the sport’s governing body.

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