The Asia Cup 2023 has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions for cricket fans across the continent. Amid the thrilling matches and nail-biting encounters, one announcement by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) recently stirred up quite a controversy. The ACC’s decision to introduce a reserve day for the much-anticipated India-Pakistan clash has sparked debates and discussions among cricket enthusiasts.

The reserve day controversy

As the cricketing world eagerly awaited the India-Pakistan encounter in Asia Cup Super 4s scheduled for Sunday (September 10), the looming threat of rain raised concerns about the match being abandoned as it happened during the two team’s battle in the league stage. In response to this, the ACC made a significant announcement and introduced a reserve day exclusively for the India-Pakistan match. While this decision brought a sigh of relief to fans who feared another washout, it also drew criticism from some quarters.

Critics argued that the decision was biased, as it seemed to favour the marquee clash between India and Pakistan while neglecting other fixtures in the tournament. Notably, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, two of the Super 4 nations, did not have reserve days allocated for their matches.

Voices of concern

Adding to the controversy were the comments from the coaches of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh’s coach expressed his reservations about the decision, stating, “There is a technical committee (in Asia Cup) represented by every participating country. They might have decided it for some other reason. It is not ideal as we also would have liked to have an extra day.” His sentiments echoed those of many cricket fans who felt that fairness should be maintained throughout the tournament.

Sri Lanka’s coach also chimed in, saying, “But I don’t have any more comment on this because they have already made a decision. If they had consulted us earlier, we would have given our opinion.”

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Statements from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Cricket Boards

In an attempt to clarify the situation and address the concerns raised by fans and the cricketing community, both the Sri Lanka and Bangladesh cricket boards issued statements. They revealed that all Super 4 nations were indeed consulted by the ACC before the decision to introduce a reserve day for the India-Pakistan clash was made.

“A reserve day for India Pakistan contest in the Asia Cup Super-4 stage has been added that effectively revised the Asia Cup playing condition. To clarify on the position, the decision was taken with the consent of all four participating teams and ACC,” tweeted the BCB.

“The reserve day for the India-Pakistan contest of the Asia Cup Super-4 stage was taken in consultation with all four member boards of the Super-4 competing teams. Accordingly, the ACC effectively revised the playing conditions of the tournament to effect the agreed-upon change. #AsiaCup2023,” tweeted SLC.

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