All teams will travel to Pakistan for 2025 Champions Trophy: ICC chairman

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The International Cricket Council has confirmed Greg Barclay as the full chairman of the cricket governing body
The International Cricket Council has confirmed Greg Barclay as the full chairman of the cricket governing body.

The International Cricket Council is optimistic that India will be among the teams to play to the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan. ICC chairman Greg Barclay has exuded confidence that all the qualified teams will visit Pakistan for the Champions Trophy.

If so happens, an Indian cricket team would visit Pakistan after a gap of 17 years. India have not played a match on the Pakistan soil ever since the 2008 tour. The two nations have also not played any bilateral cricket since 2008. The Indian establishment has a strict policy on “no sporting ties with Pakistan” due to the neighbouring nations’ proven anti-India stand.

The Pakistani establishment has been exposed for harbouring terrorists and making attempts to disrupt peace in the India.

International sides have largely steered clear of Pakistan since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians.

The Kiwis earlier this year had abandoned their Pakistan tour on the day of the first day of the series. Subsequently, England too had cancelled their  tour of Pakistan.

The 50-over tournament will be the first ICC event to be hosted by Pakistan since the 1996 World Cup, which was jointly hosted by India and Sri Lanka.

Responding to a pointed question whether teams would travel to Pakistan in 2025 for the 50-over-a-side ICC event, Barclay said: “From what we can see, absolutely.

“We wouldn’t have awarded the event if we didn’t think Pakistan was capable of hosting it.

“I’m sure, as with all countries, they will put together appropriate security plans to deliver the event. We’re comfortable and confident it will go ahead.”

The prospects of India travelling to Pakistan for the first time since the 2008 Asia Cup remain unclear, however.

Anurag Thakur, India’s sports minister and former cricket board chief, told reporters last week security was the main concern and that the government would make the call when the time comes.

India had hosted Pakistan in a bilateral series in 2013 but the bitter neighbours rarely meet outside global tournaments these days. Pakistan played in India at the 2011 World Cup as well as the T20 World Cup in 2016.