The Asian Cricket Council will decide on an alternate venue for the Asia Cup ODI tournament in March which was initially to be hosted by Pakistan. In the first formal meeting between BCCI secretary Jay Shah and PCB chairman Najam Sethi held in Bahrain on Saturday, the discussion regarding the venue of Asia Cup 2023 took place.
The Asia Cup was scheduled in September this year but Shah, who is also the ACC chairman, had announced in October 2022 that India will not travel to Pakistan. United Arab Emirates with three venues are the favourites to host the tournament. However, the final decision has been withheld.
All heads of ACC member nations attended the meeting after the ACC released the continental body’s itinerary where Pakistan wasn’t named the host.
“The ACC affiliates met today and there were a lot of constructive discussions. But the shift of venue has been postponed till March. But be rest assured that with India not going to Pakistan, the tournament will have to be shifted. A tournament without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shubman Gill will have the sponsors back out,” a senior BCCI official privy to the development told PTI.
One ACC insider said Sethi has just taken over PCB and if he would have ceded ground on the hosting rights in the first meeting itself, then it would have led to a bad impression at home.
Pakistan is currently going through an economic crisis and inflation has hit the country very hard. So strategically, if the tournament is held in the UAE, there is every possibility that all the member nations will also get to earn apart from the broadcast revenues.
The decision about the Afghanistan Cricket Association in the meeting:
The ACC has decided to increase the annual budget allocated for Afghanistan Cricket Association to 15 percent from six. The ACC has assured that it will help the Afghanistan board in all possible ways so that women’s cricket can be revived in the country. Women are banned from playing sports under Taliban rule.
(Inputs from PTI)