Champions Trophy 2025 to be shifted out of Pakistan or held in hybrid model: Report

The 2025 edition of Champions Trophy, the second biggest multilateral One-Day International (ODI) cricket tournament after the World Cup, would be shifted out of Pakistan or played under hybrid model, reports said on November 27.

Pakistan is currently scheduled to host the Champions Trophy 2025, but speculations were rife that the International Cricket Council (ICC) may come out with an alternative plan as India may decide against sending its national team to the neighbouring nation.

A similar scenario emerged during the recently held Asia Cup, which was originally scheduled in Pakistan. However, after the Indian government ruled out the possibility of sending its team to the country, the tournament was held under hybrid model in Sri Lanka.

Four Asia Cup matches were played in Pakistan, whereas, the remainder of the tournament was held in Sri Lanka. 

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board has urged the ICC to sign the Champions Trophy 2025 hosting rights agreements with it, stressing that the PCB should be compensated if India refuse to travel to the country citing political and security reasons.

A highly reliable source in the PCB told news agency PTI on November 26 that while the ICC has marked Pakistan as the host of the tournament, the global body is yet to sign the important hosting agreement with it.

The source reportedly disclosed that PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and COO Salman Naseer had met the ICC executive board in Ahmedabad to discuss the hosting of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan in February-March, 2025.

“Pakistani officials discussed the probability of the Indian board (BCCI) again refusing to send its team to Pakistan and made it clear that in any given situation the ICC must avoid taking unilateral decisions on the tournament,” the person was quoted as saying.

He said the PCB officials had told ICC that if India refuses to play in Pakistan on security grounds, the global body should appoint an independent security agency.

The PCB further said the agency could liaison with Pakistan government and security officials to assess the security situation of the participating teams including India.

“The PCB officials said many top teams had toured Pakistan in the last two years without any security concerns.

“They also made it clear that in case of India not sending its team and its matches being moved to another country, then the ICC must compensate Pakistan for this,” the source was further quoted as saying.

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Updated: 27 Nov 2023, 05:42 PM IST

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