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File photo of Sarfaraz Ahmed.© AFP

The Asia Cup 2023 that was set to be hosted by Pakistan has become a hot topic. The controversy started with the Indian team refusing to travel to the Asian nation amid the deteriorating relationship between the two countries. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was forced to propose an alternative after the BCCI expressed its disapproval to send the Indian team to the neighbouring nation for the continental cricket event. Reacting to India’s stance, former Pakistan skipper and wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed has said that the Rohit Sharma-led side should come to the nation for the Asia Cup.

“We should not even talk about India not coming to Pakistan. We should take our stance that India should come and play in Pakistan. The way people of Pakistan have seen the likes of Steve Smith, Joe Root and James Anderson playing in Pakistan, similarly they want to see an India vs Pakistan match in Pakistan,” Sarfaraz can be heard as saying in a video by Cricket Pakistan.

“Every team is coming to Pakistan. We should not appeal (to teams to come and play in Pakistan), it is our right that cricket comes to Pakistan. The Pakistan players and PCB has struggled a lot to bring cricket back in the nation. Our security forces, intelligence unit and army personnel have played a crucial role in bringing cricket back to Pakistan. I think India should come to play in Pakistan and every team that has come here and played should support Pakistan. The way we host teams, there would hardly be any country in the world that would match us,” he added.

In a huge setback to Pakistan, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Monday decided to move the Asia Cup out of the country after PCB’s proposal to host the tournament on a ‘hybrid model’ was rejected by the member nations, reported news agency PTI on Monday.

Sri Lanka has emerged as the front-runner to host the six-nation tournament as extremely humid conditions in the UAE in the month of September could lead to injuries to players, the report added.

(With PTI Inputs)

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