Pakistan cannot miss the World Cup because of India, said Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Saturday.
“Cricket is the passion of Pakistani people and we are not going for a bilateral series, this is an international level tournament,” she said in response to a query on the Aaj News show Rubaroo. “Pakistan are going for it.”
She was asked about the government’s decision to send the national team to a neighbouring country for the World Cup while the archrivals refused to come to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.
After India’s refusal, the regional event was being organised in a hybrid model where Sri Lanka are co-hosts with Pakistan for the event.
The Green Shirts have qualified for the Super Fours in the Asia Cup after getting three points. Rain washed out the blockbuster contest between Pakistan and India, with both teams sharing points. The Babar Azam-led side thrashed Nepal in the tournament opener.
Zahra in her response added that for the scope of the event it was decided that the Pakistan team, which was among the best in the world, would be sent.
“We have a place in the World Cup. We cannot leave our place for someone else. For this reason, it was decided that Pakistan must go to India to play in the World Cup and we go there. What more important would be than that Pakistan flag waved there [India] and Pakistan return after winning it.”
The 50-over World Cup would begin in the neighbouring country on October 5. England would be defending its title on a soil favourable to South Asian teams.