Will India travel to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy? Salman Butt reveals ICC’s stance on this delicate issue

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Champions Trophy

Former Pakistani captain Salman Butt has raised concerns about India’s participation in the 2025 Champions Trophy, which is set to be hosted by Pakistan. The International Cricket Council (ICC) must address this issue if India refuses to participate.

India last toured Pakistan in 2008 for the Asia Cup. However, in 2023, India declined to visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup, leading the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to implement a hybrid model for the tournament.

Recently, Jay Shah (BCCI Secretary) confirmed that India’s senior players would participate in the 2025 Champions Trophy. However, he did not clarify whether this included travelling to Pakistan.

Salman Butt on ICC’s neutrality in Champions Trophy hosting

Butt emphasizes that sensationalizing the situation won’t help. Instead, he believes it is the ICC’s duty to ensure that all teams visit Pakistan. If India decides against travelling to Pakistan, the ICC’s authority and neutrality will be tested. It will show how much authority they have as a regulator and how neutral they can be.

“We try sensationalizing everything. There have been a few reports suggesting that Jay Shah has given a positive signal. However, I don’t think he’s given any signals. I wouldn’t have been excited even if there had been a signal from him because it is the ICC’s duty to ensure that all teams visit Pakistan,” Butt said.

Butt further remarked on the ICC’s role, stressing that the council’s authority and neutrality will be tested based on how they manage the situation if India decides against travelling to Pakistan. “If they come, then they are welcome; if they don’t, the ICC has to deal with it. We will find out if they can just deal with all the other countries or can do the same with India as well. It will show how much authority they have as a regulator and how neutral they can be,” Butt added.

This tournament marks the return after an eight-year break, with Pakistan hosting. The confirmed teams include Pakistan (hosts), India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, England, and Bangladesh.

India’s decision regarding the Champions Trophy will not only impact the tournament but also reveal the ICC’s ability to handle such delicate matters. Whether India travels to Pakistan or not, the ICC’s role will be closely watched.