Team India might not travel to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy 2025

India vs Pakistan Champions Trophy 2025

A few days back, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) submitted the final draft schedule of the Champions Trophy 2025 to the ICC (International Cricket Council). There are possibilities that the Indian cricket team might not travel to Pakistan to participate in the mega event.

According to the draft, the tournament is scheduled to begin next year from February 19 (Wednesday) to March 9 (Sunday) in the 50-over format and three main venues are designated as hosts namely Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi. Interestingly, the high-voltage clash between India and Pakistan is tentatively set to take place on March 1 at Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore. However, the draft is yet to be approved by ICC. 

Also, the PCB has planned to host Team India’s matches only in Lahore to avoid travel and accommodation issues. The opening match will be played in Karachi, with two semi-finals planned at Karachi and Rawalpindi and finals to be played in Lahore. If India qualifies for the semi-finals, then the venue will be shifted to Lahore.

Out of the 15 matches in the tournament, the Board has scheduled 7 matches in Lahore, 5 in Rawalpindi, and 3 in Karachi.

Despite the PCB making all these arrangements and plans in advance, the main question arises— Will Team India travel to Pakistan to play in the Champions Trophy 2025? Let’s find out the possible chances in detail…

Why India might not travel to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025?

According to the available information, the details of the tournament haven’t been discussed officially, and the final decision depends upon the Indian government to avoid any political tensions between the two nations.

Meanwhile, the PCB has planned to raise this issue in the forthcoming ICC meeting with Sri Lanka. One of the sources stated that since it is an ICC event, the decision to send Indian players to Pakistan cannot be taken by the nation’s cricketing board or any other individual’s decisions. Rather, the entire cricket world has to wait for an official confirmation from the Government of India.

In 2008, the Indian cricketers traveled to Pakistan for the last time to participate in the Asia Cup, and in the past 16 years, these two teams have played only a bilateral series 2012-2013. Whereas, in 2006, Team India played its last bilateral series in Pakistan.

The ongoing political tensions, especially after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, forced the Indian government and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to cancel India’s tour of Pakistan, which was scheduled for January to February 2009.

PCB to raise issues during ICC Meeting

It is expected that the PCB might raise issues concerning Team India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan.

Team India was scheduled to travel to Pakistan to participate in the previous year’s Asia Cup tournament (in 2023). Due to the political conflicts between the two countries, the tournament was planned to be organized under the Hybrid Model, and India’s fixtures, including the final, were played in Sri Lanka.

However, Pakistani cricketers were allowed to travel to India in the same year to participate in the ODI World Cup. Pakistan cricket team’s matches were held in these five venues, with the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai being the only restricted venue:

CityVenue
HyderabadRajiv Gandhi International Stadium
AhmedabadNarendra Modi Stadium
BengaluruM. Chinnaswamy Stadium
ChennaiMA Chidambaram Stadium
KolkataEden Gardens

Currently, the PCB fears that the forthcoming Champions Trophy might adopt a similar format as that of the Asia Cup 2023. If the Indian cricketers don’t travel to Pakistan, then the ICC might plan for an alternative venue such as the UAE or Sri Lanka. 

These are the possible issues that the PCB might raise during the ICC board meetings. Most importantly, if a particular nation’s government prevents its cricket team from playing matches in a designated location, then the ICC must find another venue to ensure that the tournament takes place without any interruptions.

Conclusion

There are possibilities that the ICC might alter the PCB’s draft schedule and venue for the 15-match ICC Champions Trophy if Team India refuses to travel to Pakistan.

It is believed that the Indian government doesn’t trust Pakistan’s security, although other cricketing teams such as England, Australia, and New Zealand have participated in a full-fledged series. Moreover, teams like New Zealand and South Africa have agreed to play the Tri-Series in Pakistan, which is confirmed to take place one week before the commencement of the PCB’s drafted Champions Trophy schedule. Over the past few months, there has been a huge debate concerning India’s participation in the Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan, especially after the Men-in-Blue’s recent victory in the T20 World Cup 2024. However, the PCB chairman has made it clear that the tournament wouldn’t be shifted out of Pakistan, and it remains to be witnessed which cricketing nation boards are likely to withdraw their demands