Wasim Akram hopes Team India will travel to Pakistan for Champions Trophy

Wasim Akram
Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram. File photo: IANS

New Delhi: The 2025 Champions Trophy is set to be held in Pakistan from February 19 to March 9. India, Australia, England, South Africa, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan and hosts Pakistan are in the fray. 

Amid controversy regarding India’s participation in the tournament, Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram spoke about the importance of hosting a tournament of such magnitude for the ‘betterment of cricket’ in the country.

“I hope that India comes to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy. The whole country is looking forward to receiving all the teams. The cricket will be great and we will welcome them in splendid fashion. We have great facilities and are working on new stadiums. The (Pakistan Cricket Board) chairman has started work on the new stadiums in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad so I believe it will be a great tournament and Pakistan needs that tournament for the betterment of cricket and I hope all countries do come because cricket and politics should always be separate,” said Akram.

India has not travelled to Pakistan for a bilateral series since 2006. The two sporting rivals have only squared against each other in International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments since 2013 due to tense relationships between the two countries. As per reports, Team India is still reluctant to travel to their neighbouring country which could see the tournament being played in a hybrid mode.

“Overall everything is ready. The whole country is looking forward to receiving all the teams and dignitaries and the press as well and I hope you guys come to see what wonderful arrangements we have in Pakistan,” added the former Pakistan captain.

The 2023 Asia Cup was scheduled to take place in Pakistan as well before the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed that the central government refused to allow the Indian contingent to travel across the border which led to a part of the tournament, including all India matches, to take place in Sri Lanka.

India and Pakistan have not had bilateral tours since 2012 and they only play in ICC events. The Pakistan team travelled to India for the ODI World Cup last year. The BCCI has always maintained that the team will travel to Pakistan only if allowed by the central government.

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