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India Unlikely to Travel to Pakistan for 2025 Champions Trophy

New Delhi, July 11, 2024: The Indian cricket team is anticipated to request the International Cricket Council (ICC) to move the 2025 Champions Trophy matches from Pakistan to Dubai or Sri Lanka, as revealed by sources from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), reports said on Thursday.

The decision is influenced by India’s longstanding security concerns and government restrictions, which have prevented the team from touring Pakistan since 2008. The two cricketing giants now only meet during multi-team events, underscoring the strained political relations between the nations.

The eight-nation Champions Trophy is scheduled to take place in Pakistan from February 19 to March 9 next year. This would be the first major cricket event in Pakistan since the country co-hosted the 1996 World Cup with India and Sri Lanka. However, given the current geopolitical climate, India is pushing for the matches to be held in neutral venues such as Dubai or Sri Lanka.

The controversy over playing in Pakistan is not new. Last year, during the Asia Cup hosted by Pakistan, India played all their matches in Sri Lanka under a “hybrid model” to address security concerns. The BCCI’s latest move reflects its persistent apprehensions regarding player safety and the broader political tensions between India and Pakistan.

In the lead-up to the Champions Trophy, India has a busy schedule, featuring six One Day Internationals (ODIs) – three against Sri Lanka away and three at home against England. These matches are slated to take place in early February, providing the team with crucial preparation before the Champions Trophy.

The ICC has yet to make an official statement regarding India’s request, but the decision will significantly impact the tournament’s logistics and planning. As cricket fans and stakeholders await further developments, the focus remains on ensuring a safe and competitive environment for all participating teams.

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