'Indian team shouldn't go to Pakistan,' says Harbhajan Singh

Pakistan is scheduled to host Asia Cup this year

By Web Desk
March 17, 2023
Harbhajan Singh - AFP

Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh said Indian team shouldn't go to Pakistan for Asia Cup this year. 

In his latest interview, the former spinner said India can't take chance of going to Pakistan while looking at the current circumstances there. 

"I think India team shouldn't go there. Recently, a couple of incidents took place there during PSL. Our team will not be safe there. We can't take chance," he said. 

"Last time, when the two teams played in a series, the relations between the two countries were good. Currently, the relations are not good so we can't go," he added. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is scheduled to host the Asia Cup 2023 for the first time after 2008. However, Asia Cup's future hangs in balance since India refused to travel to Pakistan on political grounds.  

Last year, BCCI secretary Jay Shah — who is also president of the ACC — said that India "can't" send a team to Pakistan, adding the Asia Cup would be moved to a neutral venue.

The then PCB chairman Ramiz Raja made bold statements after Shah's statement. Raja had said that if India don't come to Pakistan, then they will also not play World Cup in their country. 

Since taking charge as PCB's head last year in December, Najam Sethi has been facing the Asia Cup matter. 

Sethi alongside COO Salman Naseer and Faisal Hasnain will discuss this issue in ICC meeting, scheduled on March 20 in Dubai.

Before the all-important meeting with ICC and ACC officials, Sethi sought advice from the federal government.

"I have approached our government to take their point of view on this matter. If our patron [PM Shehbaz Sharif] asks us to go and play World Cup India regardless of whether they come here to play Asia Cup or not, we will have to consider it," Sethi told media earlier this week.

"So far, our government's point of view is also the same, if India do not come here, we will also not go there in World Cup. I believe that we have more security concerns in India due to the ongoing communal issues there," he highlighted.

"So, we need to keep our government and security agencies in loop while making any decision regarding Asia Cup in Pakistan and World Cup in India," Sethi concluded.