If India doesn’t come… – Former Pakistan captain sends strong message to ICC over BCCI’s stance on 2025 Champions Trophy

Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam

Former Pakistan cricket team captain Salman Butt has shared his views on the controversy surrounding India’s possible participation in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2025. Butt urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not to worry too much about India’s decision to travel to Pakistan for next year’s ICC Champions Trophy 2025.

The former Pakistan captain has stressed that it is the responsibility of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ensure that all participating teams, including India, honour their commitments and visit Pakistan for the ICC tournament.

Salman Butt calls for ICC neutrality over potential 2025 Champions Trophy dilemma in India

India’s reluctance to travel to Pakistan is a long-standing issue; its last visit to the Asian country was in 2008, during the Asia Cup. Last year, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had to adopt a hybrid model for the 2023 Asia Cup after the BCCI refused to send its team to Pakistan for the tournament.

However, the Pakistan team had visited India for the 2023 ODI World Cup. Meanwhile, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has already assured that senior Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami will participate in the upcoming Champions Trophy 2024 but has not made any comment on travelling to Pakistan for the event.

Reacting to Shah’s statement, Butt stressed that Pakistan should not read too much into the BCCI secretary’s comments until a final decision is taken and let the ICC handle the situation as it is not the PCB’s business.

He said that if the Indian cricket team visits Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy 2024, they will be welcomed with enthusiasm and if they maintain their earlier stance, then it will show how much authority the ICC has as a governing body.

Salman Butt: If India does not participate in the Champions Trophy 2025, the ICC will have to deal with it

Salman Butt said on his YouTube channel: “If they come, they will be welcome, if not, the ICC will have to deal with it. We will see if they can deal with all other countries or if they can do the same with India as well. It will show how much authority they have as a regulator and how neutral they can be. We are trying to sensationalise everything.”

Butt argued that the ICC has to deal with the BCCI and India if they do not want to visit Pakistan for the upcoming tournament, but the PCB should not allow them to move the tournament out of the country, saying that such a situation would show how neutral the world cricket body can be.

The former captain added: “There have been some reports suggesting that Jay Shah has given a positive signal. However, I don’t think he has given any signal. I wouldn’t have been thrilled even if he had given a signal because it is the duty of the ICC to ensure that all teams visit Pakistan. Pakistan should not be bothered about who is coming and who is not.”

“They should be concerned about making the event a success and providing good venues, hotels and security. There are no issues with these things, that is why teams have been visiting Pakistan for the last few years. So, if India decides something different, it is for the ICC to counter it, not us.”