Cricket World Cup 2023: Hope there is a good match with Pak team and this is not war, says MEA

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that the Pakistan cricket team, which is taking part in Cricket World Cup 2023 aka ICC World Cup, would be treated just like any other cricket team. India is hosting the sports event from October 5 to November 19.

The Pakistan team plays against India on October 14 in Ahmedabad. Representative photo courtesy: Instagram/therealpcb

Stating this, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said yesterday that questions about any additional security for the Pakistan team should be directed to the organisers. “Of course, we would hope that all necessary security will be provided not just to them but to all other participating teams,” he said.

“I hope that there is a good match and I hope this is not war as it seems to be made out to [be],” said the MEA spokesperson.

Bagchi was responding to a question about Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s reported comments that Islamabad did not mix sports with politics, which was why it decided to send the Pakistan national team to Cricket World Cup 2023 and defeat India in India.

The much-awaited India-Pakistan clash would take place on October 14 in Ahmedabad.

Asked about Bhutto Zardari’s reported claim that India decided to hold the summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) in virtual mode considering his visit to Goa to attend a ministerial meeting of the grouping, Bagchi said that it would be certainly “presumptuous” of anyone to think that one factor or one person would have had a role to play in that.

India hosted the SCO summit on July 4 in virtual mode. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among those who joined the summit, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The MEA had said that the decision to hold the annual summit in the virtual format was taken considering a number of factors.