Sri Lanka is now one of the strongest contenders to host Asia Cup 2023 as the recent meeting of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman with the Vice-President of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Pankhaj Khimji seems to have not gone as well as was expected.
According to a report, PCB Chief Najam Sethi met with ACC officials on Tuesday, May 9, where it was decided that Pakistan would pull out of the tournament because their proposal of hosting it in the UAE was not accepted.
Asia Cup is scheduled for September this year, but the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, who is also the President of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had threatened that the Indian government would not allow their team to travel to Pakistan because of security concerns.
Regardless of the current political crisis in Pakistan, the country has just concluded a New Zealand series in peace. Yet Indian media and BCCI officials have based their decision to not send their team to Pakistan on security concerns.
In the recent meeting with Jay Shah and ACC officials, Najam Sethi proposed a revised ‘Hybrid Model’ in which four teams Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh will play their matches in Pakistan and then all the teams along with Pakistan will move to Dubai to play the whole tournament.
ACC officials straight away rejected the proposal by raising questions about logistics, asking how broadcasters will travel between the two countries with all the crew and equipment.
Sethi reply was that they only had to travel to Pakistan only once and then will go to Dubai.
ACC officials said that ahead of World Cup they cannot take the risk and that weather conditions are not suitable in Dubai for playing cricket.
Sethi reportedly pointed out that the BCCI held IPL 2020 in Dubai and also in the same season.
An ultimatum on the matter is expected by the end of this month. Should the decision go against Pakistan, the country’s status as a participant in the Cup would be up in the air, with a boycott being likely in that event.
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