However, Thakur expects the Pakistan team to come to India next year to compete in the 50-over World Cup, saying “everyone is welcome”.
BCCI secretary Jay Shahwho is also the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief, said on Tuesday that the Indian team will not travel to Pakistan for the continental event and they would like to participate in the tournament at a neutral venue.
This prompted Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to say that it could affect its team’s participation in the World Cup in India.
“All teams that qualify for (World Cup) are invited (to compete on Indian soil). Many times Pakistani teams have come to India and played. I feel India is not in a position to be dictated (by anyone) not and there is no reason for anyone to do so.
“I expect all countries to come and compete,” Thakur told a select gathering of journalists when asked about the controversy that erupted after Shah’s statement.
Asked about the possibility of the Indian team traveling to the neighboring country for Asia Cup next year, Thakur said, “Possibility is always there. Who thought there would be COVID-19. Anything can happen except the chances (that Indian team to Pakistan will travel) ) is not much.
“…This is a decision that will be made by the Ministry of Home Affairs. In general, players’ safety and security is an important matter.”
It was pointed out that international teams have recently started touring Pakistan, but Thakur dismissed the question.
To a further question, Thakur said, “It is a security problem. The government will take a call on it. Let the time come, let us see the situation at that time.”
Thakur was speaking after it was announced that the fifth edition of the Khelo India Youth Games would be held from January 31 to February 11 in eight cities in Madhya Pradesh.
A ‘disappointed’ Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday requested the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting, saying “such statements could spoil the Asian and international cricket communities” and impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the World Cup football tournament in 2023.
India had not traveled to Pakistan since the 2008 Asia Cup, and following the Mumbai terror attack on 26 November that year, the scheduled bilateral series was canceled in early 2009.
Pakistan did travel to India in 2012 for a short six-match white-ball series, but in the last 10 years there has been no bilateral cricket. The two teams have only played each other in several ICC and ACC events.
The PCB is upset as international cricket has resumed in the country with all top nations like England, Australia, West Indies traveling there to play Tests and white-ball rubbers.
“The PCB is now prepared to take tough decisions and play hard ball as it is also aware that the ICC and ACC events will have to face commercial liabilities and losses if Pakistan does not play against India in these multi-team events. is not coming,” a senior PCB source told PTI on condition of anonymity.