ICC Champions Trophy 2025 – PCB draft schedule slots all India games in Lahore – India vs Pakistan

The PCB’s schedule for the 2025 Champions Trophy could have India based in one city for the entire tournament, as the board looks for ways to accommodate a potential first visit by India to Pakistan in nearly 17 years.

Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi are the three venues the PCB is planning to host the two-week Champions Trophy in. ESPNcricinfo understands the draft schedule has India based in and playing all their matches in Lahore – where the final is also scheduled to take place.

Basing India in one city is thought to have been proposed because it avoids what could be considerable logistical and security headaches around their travel. Additionally, by being based in Lahore, which is close to the Wagah border crossing between the two countries, it allows Indian fans a relatively easier option to visit.

PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi said earlier this week that the board had sent a draft schedule of the tournament, likely to be staged in mid-February next year, to the ICC. Discussions on it involving the eight participating members will take place, with the major sticking point likely to be whether the India team travels or not.

Since the return of international cricket to Pakistan in 2015, however, every single team involved in the Champions Trophy has toured and played in Pakistan, except India

No Indian team has played in Pakistan since the 2008 Asia Cup. Relations between the two governments have deteriorated steadily and often sharply since, especially after the Mumbai terror attacks the same year. Those attacks ended a rare period of bounty in the rivalry, the sides having played each other in four bilateral series in the preceding four years.

Last year, when Pakistan hosted the Asia Cup, they were forced to deploy a hybrid model in which India played all their games – including those against Pakistan – in Sri Lanka. The final of the tournament, won by India, was held in Colombo.
Though Pakistan had raised the prospect of a hybrid model for their presence in the ODI World Cup in India last year, it was never pursued seriously. They ended up playing all their games in India, across five venues, before they were eliminated in the group stages.

The final decision on whether India do visit Pakistan for the Champions Trophy will be in the hands of the Indian government, rather than the BCCI.

The craze around India vs Pakistan games, limited as they are, is to be seen to be believed•Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday evening in Karachi, Naqvi expressed the hope that “all eight teams” will come to Pakistan for the event, though he was not drawn into specifics about India’s position.

The Champions Trophy is the first ICC event Pakistan will be hosting since the 1996 World Cup, when they were joint hosts with India and Sri Lanka. Pakistan was due to stage the event in 2008, but it was postponed and then relocated to South Africa because of the security situation in Pakistan at the time. Pakistan also lost out on co-hosting duties for the 2011 ODI World Cup, with the 2009 terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team meaning no international cricket in the country for the next six years.

Since the return of international cricket to Pakistan in 2015, however, every single team involved in the Champions Trophy has toured and played in Pakistan, except India.

Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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