Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) proposed hybrid model for Asia Cup 2023 could be rejected by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, as per reports. PCB is mulling boycotting the continental tournament slated for later this month. Pakistan is aware that Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are not backing their hybrid model proposal for Asia Cup and the only option left for the board is to play the tournament at a neutral venue or withdraw.
As Asia Cup 2023 deadlock continues, PCB chairman Najam Sethi has sent an SOS to the International Cricket Council (ICC). PCB wants ICC to force India to accept the hybrid model. While PCB had threatened to boycott the tournament if the hybrid model is not accepted, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) believes Pakistan will play the tournament.
Najam Sethi initially threatened to boycott Asia Cup but there are reports in the media that Mr. Sethi has a plan B for Asia Cup. The Prime Minister of Pakistan fully supports Najam Sethi, asking him to not back off from the hybrid model.
The model suggests that India can play their matches at neutral venue and the rest of the teams can play in Pakistan. Sethi proposed the model in initial meetings but braodcasters showed concerns over logistics. A Star Sports official asked Najam Sethi how it would be possible for the crew to travel between two countries with equipment.
Now Najam Sethi has proposed a revised version of hybrid model in which first four group stage matches will be played in Lahore except the matches of India, and the rest of tournament will be shifted to a neutral venue.
A BCCI official told Inside Sports yesterday at the World Test Championship,
“Those are just immediate reactions. PCB very well knows what position they are in and any money that comes through is important for them. I don’t think Pakistan can boycott. They will play in Asia Cup and World Cup. For the moment, they are trying whatever they can to keep it but it’s not going to happen.”