The much controversial debate over the hosting rights of the Asia Cup 2023 has finally entered the concluding stages as the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is set to announce a formal decision regarding the venue of the championship. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had the original hosting rights that will likely be stripped off after its proposed Hybrid Model plea was rejected by other Asian counterparts including the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
After the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) stated to the ACC and PCB that the Indian team cannot travel to Pakistan as it failed to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) clearance, PCB suggested a Hybrid model wherein all the Indian fixtures would have been conducted at the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).
The ACC members met in Dubai on Tuesday to ascertain the future of Asia Cup 2023. SLC and BCB have reportedly objected to PCB’s Hybrid Model due to logistical constraints. The scorching heat in Dubai during September is also believed to be a prominent reason for the disagreement.
Asia Cup 2023 might be hosted by the initial hosts Sri Lanka
After deliberate discussions amongst all the member nations, it is believed that the marquee event will now be conducted in Sri Lanka. Defending champions Sri Lanka originally had the hosting rights for 2023 but lost it to Pakistan amidst escalated political tensions and economic crisis.
Interestingly, the PCB might pull out from the championship if it is held in Sri Lanka. They had earlier highlighted a concern to the BCCI against playing any of their 2023 World Cup fixtures at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The Ahmedabad stadium was a potential venue for heavyweight India vs Pakistan clash as it can accommodate a tremendous audience as it is the world’s largest stadium.
The PCB has strongly condemned the stance of SLC and BCB stating that they are aligned with the BCCI to an ulterior motive. An agonized PCB official put forth several justifications accusing SLC and BCB:
- PCB stated that they have written communication from SLC and BCB regarding no issues in playing in Pakistan.
- The heat reason in Dubai was also refuted by PCB stating that the previous edition of the tournament was held from August 27 to September 11. This nearly covers the current window.
- Notably, PCB also stated that the 50-over format of the Asia Cup was also conducted in UAE in September 2018.
- In view of the upcoming World Cup 2023 in India, the Asia Cup will truly be crucial for all the subcontinent nations.
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