On 4 February, the chairman of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the secretary of the Board of Control Cricket India (BCCI), Jay Shah, categorically told Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi that the Indian cricket team not allowed to travel to Pakistan for Asian Cup 2023. scheduled in Pakistan. The issue of the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 was discussed at an ACC meeting in Bahrain on Saturday. Due to India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan, the tournament may be moved outside Pakistan.
BCCI has said that India cannot participate in the Asia Cup in Pakistan as the Indian government has not allowed the Indian team to travel to Pakistan. At the Asian Cricket Council meeting held in Bahrain on Saturday, the venue for the 2023 Asia Cup had not yet been determined. However, the ACC confirmed that the tournament will take place in September 2023.
The meeting in Bahrain was attended by ACC Chief Jay Shah, Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Najam Sethi, and representatives of member countries. Five Asian cricket teams are participating in the Asian Cup: India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Sri Lanka won the last Asia Cup in 2022 in the UAE.
The Asia Cricket Council is expected to move the #AsiaCup from Pakistan and decide on an alternative venue next month when BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and PCB Chairman Najam Sethi discuss the issue at a formal meeting in Bahrain.
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) Feb 5, 2023
The final decision on whether to host the tournament in Pakistan will be taken at another meeting in March 2023. The 2023 Asia Cup will most likely take place at a neutral venue, to be decided by the International Cricket Council next month. . (ICC) meetings.
The ACC said in a statement after the meeting: “The ACC had a constructive dialogue regarding the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. The board agreed to continue discussions on operations, timelines, and other details to ensure the success of the tournament. An update on this will be provided at the next ACC Executive Board meeting in March 2023.”
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has categorically told Najam Sethi that the Indian cricket team cannot travel to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup because the Indian government has not granted permission. (Indian media)
— Arfa Fierce Zake (@ArfaSays_) February 5, 2023
BCCI is reportedly confident that the tournament will be moved outside of Pakistan. Sources say BCCI officials believe there is little to no chance of the Asia Cup being held in Pakistan.
ESPN Cricinfo reported that Sethi Shah informed that if the Indian team refuses to play in Pakistan, the Pakistan team will not consider playing in India for the Cricket World Cup 2023. Depending on the encounters in March 2023, the fate of the Asian Cup, the World Cup, and the Champions Trophy (2025) will be decided. Two of the three tournaments will take place in Pakistan and one in India. The final decision of the Pakistani side rests with the government.
“If you don’t come and play Pakistan, we won’t play India and there will be no Pakistan in the 2023 World Cup,” Najam Sethi told Jay Shah of Pakistan’s position at the ACC meeting.
This happened during the meeting. Watch 👇https://t.co/PtNvAwxINk pic.twitter.com/dOSSdVfYlM
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) February 4, 2023
Pakistan, in particular, has been unable to host international tournaments since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. For the past three years, Pakistan has started hosting international tournaments, but India has yet to visit the hostile neighbor. Over the years, the Indian government has taken a strict approach to ongoing terrorist activity across the border by strategically isolating Pakistan on multiple fronts. Tournament cricket between the two countries is limited to ICC and ACC events. Notably, the Indian cricket team has not played a single match in Pakistan since 2008. The Pakistan team last visited India for the 2016 T20 World Cup.
Pakistan was supposed to host the Asian Cup in 2020, but as India also refused to travel to Pakistan at the time, Pakistan said it was willing to let Sri Lanka host the tournament. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 tournament has been postponed to 2021, to be held in Sri Lanka. But due to various reasons, including the schedule clashing with the World Test Championship for which India had qualified, the 2021 event was postponed to 2022.
However, when Sri Lanka was hit by a massive financial crisis, it expressed its inability to host the tournament and moved to the United Arab Emirates. By ceding the right to host the tournament to Sri Lanka, Pakistan retained the right to host the Asian Cup in 2023. But now it is again in jeopardy as India refuses to visit the country.
The financial situation of Pakistan and the venue of the Asian Cup
Another aspect of the upcoming hosting of the Asia Cup 2023 is that the Pakistani rupee has fallen to an all-time low in recent months, making it difficult for the PCB to afford the Asia Cup. The Pakistani rupee is currently trading at over PKR 277 per USD and if the tournament takes place in Pakistan it will put a big hole in the pocket of PCBs.
The United Arab Emirates could host the Asian Cup
According to reports, three venues in the United Arab Emirates namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah could be selected for the 2023 Asian Cup. Notably, even if the tournament shifts to a neutral venue, Pakistan is expected to retain the venue rights. Last year, Sri Lanka hosted despite the tournament being held in the United Arab Emirates.