The controversy around the venue of Asia Cup 2023 was addressed recently in a meeting held by Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Dubai. Notably, Asia Cup is scheduled to take place in the first half of September this year.
During the meeting, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stressed hosting the event. However, they made a proposal to provide India with a neutral venue outside of Pakistan to play in the tournament. While ACC president Jay Shah was present at the discussion, IPL chairman Arun Dhumal represented India in the meeting. Despite all the talks, the decision regarding the venues for India’s matches was not finalized.
In light of the Indian government’s refusal to grant clearance for the Indian team to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) had previously stated that they would not make the trip. Reacting to this, former cricketer and then PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had warned that Pakistan would also not travel to India for the 50-over World Cup, scheduled to be held later this year.
Before arriving for the ACC meeting, current PCB chairman Najam Sethi carried on the rough tone as he took a potshot at the Indian board and said, “It’s important to see how other members (of ACC) look at our stance on Asia Cup. What they think is important, but in the end, we must realise how much clout the BCCI with its financial power carries in world cricket.”
PCB’s proposal aims to find a middle path, where the matches not involving India will be played in Pakistan and those featuring India at some other venue. The countries like UAE, Oman, Bangladesh, and even England were being discussed as possible locations for the Indian side’s matches. But whether the other nations that are to face the Men in Blue would agree to it is in itself a big question; hence, ACC didn’t arrive at any conclusion.
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