PCB proposes Feb 19 start for Champions Trophy 2025, rejects hybrid model for India’s matches

Lahore, June 12 (IANS): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proposed that the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will start on February 19 and will be held in Pakistan, refusing to entertain a hybrid model for India’s matches, like in case of the Asia Cup 2023.

As per the PCB proposal, the ICC Champion’s Trophy 2025 will be scheduled from February 19 to March 9 2025 with all the matches to take place across three major cities -- Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore.

As per sources in the PCB, International Cricket Council (ICC) officials, who visited Pakistan to inspect the arrangements for the event, have expressed satisfaction with the systems in place.

Interestingly, the PCB has refused to entertain a hybrid model, specifically for India’s matches, and has insisted that all matches should be played in Pakistan.

The move is expected to get a concentrated response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which had proposed a hybrid model with India’s matches being played at neutral venues on foreign land.

In the past, India’s matches were relocated to Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup 2023. However, this time, Pakistan is not ready to opt for a hybrid model and wants to have all matches including that of India be played in Pakistan.

“We have not opted for the hybrid model. However, we have given this leverage that India’s matches can be played in Lahore only. This way, the team will not be required to move around cities within Pakistan and its security can be well maintained in Lahore”, said a source in the PCB.

“India can be based in Lahore for the entire tournament. This would minimise logistical and security complications associated with their travel between cities”, the source added.

The mentioned special arrangement for the Indian team may also provide an easier and more convenient option to attend matches, as they would be held in one city.

“The proximity of Lahore to Wagah Border crossing is also going to be more suitable for the Indian fans. However, the question remains, if India would accept and participate in the event”, the PCB source said.

As per the PCB's proposed schedule for the Champions Trophy, at least three matches will be played in Karachi, which includes the opening match and a semifinal. Lahore will hold at least seven matches, including the final. Rawalpindi will host at least five matches, including a semifinal.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Indian cricket team has not played in Pakistan since the Asia Cup in 2008. The decision to travel to Pakistan for the Champion’s Trophy will rest with the Indian government, which has not favoured the cricket team travelling across the border because of Pakistan's alleged support of terrorism in India.

The ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will be the first major international cricket tournament hosted solely by Pakistan. Previously, Pakistan had c-hosted the 1996 Cricket World Cup with India and Sri Lanka and before that co-hosted the Reliance Cup with India in 1987.


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Title: PCB proposes Feb 19 start for Champions Trophy 2025, rejects hybrid model for India’s matches

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