Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja issued a warning to the Jay Shah-led Asian Cricket Council (ACC) that Pakistan will pull out of the Asia Cup 2023 if the competition is moved out of the country.
In October, BCCI secretary and ACC president Jay Shah said that the competition will be moved to a neutral venue as the Indian Board has decided that the team will not travel to Pakistan.
Following Shah's comments, the PCB responded in a furious fashion, saying that will boycott the 2023 ODI World Cup in India and called for an emergency meeting of the ACC members to discuss the matter.
Speaking about the issue on the sidelines of the first Test between Pakistan and England in Rawalpindi, Raja said that travel restrictions for India cannot be a reason for to take away the hosting rights from Pakistan.
"It's not as if we don't have hosting rights and we're pleading to host it. We won the rights fair and square. If India doesn't come, they won't come. If the Asia Cup gets taken away from Pakistan, maybe we're the ones that pull out," Raja said on Friday.
India last played a bilateral series against Pakistan at home in 2012-13 and only rekindled their rivalry at multi-nation tournaments. India have not played a Test against Pakistan since 2008. Recently, India beat Pakistan in a thriller at the MCG in the 2022 T20 World Cup. In September, they shared a win each in the Asia Cup 2022 played in UAE.
"We've shown we can host great teams. I can understand issues relating to bilateral cricket, but the Asia Cup is a multi-nation tournament, almost as big as the World Cup for the Asian bloc," Raja said.
Soon after Shah's comment's India's Sports Minister and former BCCI president Anurag Thakur, said that India's travel to Pakistan will depend on the Home Ministry's advice.
"Why give it to us in the first place and then make all those statements about India not travelling to Pakistan? I accept that India won't come because the government won't allow them to come - fine. But to take the Asia Cup away from the host on that basis isn't right," Raja said.