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Pakistan PM Forms Committee To Decide On Team’s Participation In World Cup: Report

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has formed a high-level committee, headed by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, to decide on the national cricket team’s participation in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. The committee will explore and discuss all aspects of Pakistan and India relations, the government’s policy of keeping sports and policy apart, and the situation in India for the players, officials, fans, and media before submitting its recommendations to Sharif. The Prime Minister is also the patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Both the International Cricket Council and host BCCI have already announced the World Cup schedule and expect Pakistan to travel to India for the 50-over showpiece beginning October 5.

The PCB, however, has conveyed to them that the national team’s participation in the premier event is subject to government clearance due to the tense relations between the two countries.

Other committee members include Sports Minister Ahsan Mazari, Maryam Aurangzeb, Asad Mahmood, Amin ul Haq, Qamar Zaman Kaira, and former diplomat Tariq Fatmi.

The concerned ministers have already indicated to the PCB that a high-level security delegation would be sent to India to inspect the venues where Pakistan’s matches are scheduled.

The acting chairman of the board, Zaka Ashraf, and chief operating officer, Salman Taseer are also due to leave for Durban on Saturday night to attend the ICC meetings where it is expected that Ashraf would be discussing India’s repeated refusal to send its team to Pakistan citing security reasons.

The much-awaited World Cup game between India and Pakistan will be staged at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on October 15.

Pakistan will play their two warm-up games in Hyderabad before taking on Netherlands and Sri Lanka in their opening two World Cup matches at the same venue.

The team is also scheduled to play in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. Both India and Pakistan only play each other in Asia Cup or ICC events.

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