A momentous occasion in cricket diplomacy unfolded as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Roger Binny, and Vice-President Rajeev Shukla graced Pakistan with their presence at the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Gala Dinner in Lahore on September 4, 2023. This followed India’s recent encounter with Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023.
Roger Binny was bestowed with the honor of addressing the gathering, where he extended heartfelt appreciation to the PCB for their warm hospitality. With unwavering enthusiasm, the former World Cup-winning cricketer shed light on the unparalleled cricketing rivalry between India and Pakistan.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Pakistan Cricket Board for the invitation to this evening’s event. I bring you greetings from the BCCI and from the cricket enthusiasts of India. As your Excellency mentioned, the India-Pakistan rivalry is among the most monumental encounters in cricket. I can attest, sir, when India faces Pakistan on the cricket field, the world comes to a standstill,” Roger Binny emphatically proclaimed.
Binny went on to illustrate the magnitude of this rivalry by describing the captivating spectacle it engenders in both nations. “Work ceases, streets are deserted, and all eyes are glued to television screens. This is the sheer enormity of cricket in India and Pakistan,” he added.
The BCCI President acknowledged the PCB’s graciousness and characterized their journey across the border as a delightful experience. This historic visit reflects the profound significance of cricket in bridging international divides and fostering camaraderie among nations.
This extraordinary visit took place in the context of the Asia Cup 2023, which Pakistan is hosting. Due to logistical concerns and the BCCI’s reluctance to play in Pakistan, only four out of thirteen matches of the tournament are being held in Pakistan, with the remainder taking place in Pallekelle and Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the latter is co-hosting.