The Asia Cup is set to be held in Pakistan in September 2023. However, the event is now in jeopardy as India has declined the invitation. According to the details, the schedule has not been disclosed yet, and it remains uncertain whether the tournament will be held in Pakistan.
While presenting the suggestion of the ‘Hybrid Model’, Chairman of PCB Management Committee, Najam Sethi, proposed that the Asia Cup be held in Pakistan, with the exception of India’s matches, which should be played in a neutral venue.
However, the BCCI has expressed dissatisfaction with this proposal. Currently, Sethi is in Dubai, where he met with ICC officials yesterday.
On Tuesday, he is scheduled to meet with Pankaj Khimji, Deputy President of the Asian Council, and cricket officials from the UAE to discuss the possibility of hosting India’s matches in the UAE under the ‘Hybrid Model.’
The PCB is concerned that if the Asia Cup is not held now, the same issue may arise during the hosting of the Champions Trophy in 2025 and the ICC may decide to relocate the event if India does not participate
Therefore, under the proposed model, the Indian cricket team’s Champions Trophy matches will be held in Bangladesh. Currently, there is a tense situation between Pakistan and Indian officials, with India allegedly using its media to its advantage.
The BCCI has also collaborated with Sri Lanka, convincing them to play two additional matches, as they have been eager to host the Asia Cup for some time now. In response, Pakistan has reminded Afghanistan that they recently played additional matches in Sharjah, and they stand with the PCB on this matter.
While there are concerns about the heat in Dubai, efforts are being made to convince Bangladesh to cooperate, and they are reportedly willing to do so. PCB officials have publicly stated that “we have earned a substantial amount of money due to the PSL, and therefore, the Asia Cup’s cancellation would not be a significant concern for them.”
In reality, the Pakistani authorities aim to avoid financial losses and prioritize preparations for the upcoming World Cup, and they also prefer holding the Asia Cup at neutral venues. However, organizing the entire event at neutral venues could pose difficulties in terms of “face-saving.”
Several news reports regarding the Asia Cup were circulating in the Indian media yesterday. One report claimed that “the members have retrieved the PCB’s ‘Hybrid Model’ and moved the event from Pakistan.”
However, an official representative from the PCB, who was in contact with the “Express” representative, dismissed these reports as baseless and an attempt by the BCCI to increase pressure.
They stated that the ACC has not officially denied accepting the ‘Hybrid Model’ proposed by the PCB, and discussions are still ongoing. The official further added that unverified news from unnamed sources is not credible.