ICC Champions Trophy 2025: India Tour of Pakistan likely to be confirmed!

After a flop show in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has received a positive news report about Team India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy 2025. After a long break of eight years, the tournament is ready to be hosted in Pakistan and the hosting nation is set to participate along with other teams namely India, England, South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and New Zealand.

The Champions Trophy was lastly held in 2017 in England, where Pakistan emerged as the defending champions by defeating India by 180 runs in the finals.

According to the reports provided by the local news channel, the PCB has been in constant discussion with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and other cricket boards. It may indicate that India’s Tour of Pakistan in 2025 is on its way.

If such happens, this will mark one of the best moments in cricket history as the Indian team is getting ready to play in Pakistan after a long break. According to the schedule, Team India’s matches and the final of the tournament are likely to be held in Lahore.

ICC Champions Trophy 2025 Schedule and Venue Update

The ICC is yet to release the schedule of the Champions Trophy 2025 and is expected to announce it officially next week. A few weeks ago, the PCC submitted its proposed schedule for the tournament, which is currently being reviewed by the ICC without implementing any changes.

According to the draft schedule, the tournament will mostly be held in three different venues namely Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi from February 19 to March 9 in a 50-over format.

The opening match of the tournament will kickstart at the National Stadium in Karachi, which also hosts one of the semi-finals and the other two matches. However, the Gaddafi Stadium — Lahore’s iconic venue is set to host seven games including the final, while Rawalpindi will host five matches (including the 2nd semi-final of the tournament).

Significant Renovations in Gaddafi Stadium for ICC Champions Trophy 2025

Ahead of the tournament, the Lahore Gaddafi Stadium is undergoing a major renovation. It includes the construction of modern corporate boxes, developing a new media center at the university end with a scorecard and increasing the audience capacity in key building enclosures. It means that the Fazal Mahmood and Imran Khan enclosure will be expanded without demolishing the entire building. Additionally, new digital screens are being installed in the stadiums of Lahore, Karachi, and Rawalpindi.

Has BCCI decided on the future?

Despite the ICC managing to sort out the schedule, there are chances that the BCCI might not accept the proposal for the Champions Trophy 2025. For instance, Pakistan was announced as the host for the ODI Asia Cup in 2023, but India refused to participate in the matches held in Pakistan. As a result, a majority of the tournament’s events had to be relocated to Sri Lanka.

Although there isn’t any official confirmation, you can expect something similar for the forthcoming tournament as well. Moreover, the BCCI is ranked as the biggest powerhouse in cricket and aims to strengthen its position as one of the reputed Boards in cricket. Therefore, the BCCI will ensure to adhere strictly to their principles that the Indian cricketers don’t play a single match in Pakistan. At the same time, certain rumors are circulating that Team India will play the Champions Trophy 2025 matches in the UAE whereas the other participating teams will play in Pakistan.

However, the BCCI is yet to officially confirm if it is willing to send the national team to Pakistan for the mega ICC event.

Conclusion:

Even after several political tensions and security issues, India hasn’t officially refused to participate in any of the tournaments hosted in Pakistan.

After 1996, Pakistan will be hosting a crucial ICC event for the first time, although it was the solo host for the Asia Cup in 2008 and co-hosts of the same tournament in the previous year (in 2023).

Furthermore, the PCB confirmed that the 10th edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be held sometime in April 2025 due to plans for conducting the Champions Trophy and tri-series with South Africa and New Zealand. This helps to avoid conflicts and provides proper space for each tournament. 

After many years, this could be one of the positive developments that highlight the fact that the Indian cricket team might be ready to enter Pakistan for the first time in recent years. However, the remaining seven participating nations have shown their support for playing in Pakistan, and if there could be any last-minute withdrawal from Team India, the situation would become much more complicated if other teams declare their attendance.

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