New Delhi, Oct 20: A day after Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) threat of not coming to India for 2023 ODI World Cup, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday said that the country will organise the mega event and all the big teams, including Pakistan, will take part in it because no one can ignore India in any field nowadays.
Thakur's comments came after PCB requested the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting in the wake of BCCI secretary Jay Shah's statement that India won't travel to Pakistan for next year's Asia Cup and his demand that the tournament be moved to a neutral venue.
The PCB in its statement had also mentioned that if India did not travel across the border for the tournament then such a move could jeopardise Pakistan's participation in the ODI World Cup.
However, Thakur has said that all big teams, including Pakistan, will take part in the ODI World Cup, which is set to be held in India in 2023.
"It's the BCCI's matter and they will comment on it. India is a sporting powerhouse, where many World Cups have been organised. The ODI World Cup will also take place next year in India and all big teams around the globe will take part in it. Because no one can ignore India in any field nowadays," the Sports Minister told reporters during an event for the announcement of the Khelo India Youth Games.
"India has contributed a lot to sports, especially cricket. So, the World Cup will be organised next year, and it will be a grand and historic event," he added.
Talking specifically about Pakistan's participation, the Minister said that the country has come many times to India in the past and he expects all teams to take part.
"All teams who qualify for the World Cup are invited to compete on Indian soil). Many times Pakistan teams have come to India and played. I feel India is not in a position to be dictated (by someone) and there is no reason for anyone to do that. I expect all countries to come and compete," Thakur said.
Asked about India travelling to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023, the former BCCI president said the decision will be taken by the home ministry.
"It's a decision that will be taken by the Home Ministry. Overall, players' safety and security is an important matter," he said.