According to the board’s hybrid model, the remaining nine matches, including the final, will be played at a neutral venue. The PCB wants Pakistan to host four of the 13 Asia Cup matches. Four of the 13 games in the PCB’s hybrid Asia Cup schedule will be played in Pakistan, while the other games, including the championship game, will be played in a neutral venue. possibly the UAE.
The head of the board, Najam Sethi, told the BBC’s Stumped podcast that despite two members of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) objecting to a hybrid solution and the more difficult issue of India’s inability to travel to Pakistan, he was still hopeful that the tournament would be held in Pakistan.
He also said that if the hybrid model works at the Asia Cup, it could be used at the one-day World Cup, which will be held in India later this year. Sethi stated that there is a “distinct possibility” that the Pakistani government prevents Pakistan from traveling to India due to the contentious and tense relations between the two countries.
Sethi met with ACC representatives on Tuesday in Dubai in an effort to find a solution. He thinks the PCB has gone above and above to address the numerous issues. He said, “The proposal I submitted three days ago takes care of all of this.” The teams arrive directly here for our four matches in Pakistan, and subsequently, everyone departs for the neutral site, wherever it may be.
We play the last several games there. I conceded that, if we reach the final, we would play the final in a neutral location, either against India or any other team. We have gone above and beyond to resolve all of these issues. Thesportsocean understands that the PCB’s long-term strategy of hosting tournaments in Pakistan and high-profile international cricket is the reason for keeping four matches in Pakistan.
My command was given to me by the public authority and by the media and by individuals of Pakistan is that this must be a respectable and proportional game plan, Sethi said. We are happy to take part in the Asia Cup, but it is inexcusable that India won’t travel to Pakistan and won’t even permit us to stage some of our games at a neutral venue. Don’t forget that the World Cup, which will take place in India and is an ICC event, will take place right after the Asia Cup. What occurs on the off chance that India doesn’t come to Pakistan or India torpedoes my crossover model? I don’t think my government will let me play in the World Cup in India.
The boards of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have not been pleased with the concept of this hybrid solution or the possibility of playing the neutral leg in the United Arab Emirates. They have objected to the UAE’s heat at that time of year, logistical and operational issues, and so on. Sethi insisted that the PCB, as the host nation, was responsible for selecting the neutral venue.
He stated, “I am quite surprised that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are circulating this idea unofficially.” At the most recent ACC meeting, which took place about a month ago, we all agreed that Pakistan should play in the Asia Cup because, without Pakistan, there won’t be one. India-Pakistan matches account for nearly 80% of the Asia Cup’s revenue, and the way the schedule is set up, we play at least two of them and possibly three if we both reach the final.
The main complaint Bangladesh made was that being too hot in September in the UAE and that would be a problem is going. The logistics issue was the next problem. All of the logistical issues are addressed in my proposal. The PCB has also been keen to emphasize that the UAE hosted the September matches of both the 2018 and 2022 Asia Cups.
As indicated by Sethi, there’s simply no time left to go with a choice. The board, he said, expected three months to plan. In Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, or any other location we pick, we must make reservations. The ACC must make a decision given that time has already run out.
We have made our position understood. Two days ago, I met with a high-ranking ACC interlocutor in Dubai. He enjoyed it, he said it is famously serviceable. He said he would talk to Jay Shah, the president of the ACC and secretary of the BCCI.
Before we can sit across a table and choose where to play, we must resolve the initial issue—accepting the hybrid solution. We’ll keep it reasonable. The questioners said I have advised Jay Shah about our gathering, he’s alright with it. He wants to contact Bangladesh and Sri Lanka now to verify.
Sethi raised the specter of the repercussions in the event of the worst occurring with the Asia Cup, as has been the case throughout the lengthy negotiations regarding the location of this tournament. If we do not find a solution right away, Pakistan’s absence from the World Cup is a very real possibility. In the ACC meeting we had in Bahrain, I brought up this issue and invited the ICC chairman, Greg Barclay, to sit with us and listen to what we were discussing.
The idea is that if the hybrid model works here, we might be able to use it at the World Cup. This means that we could arrange for Pakistan matches to be held in India and Bangladesh or the United Arab Emirates, just a hop away. Why doesn’t India play in Pakistan? We will be able to play in Pakistan if India plays, and this issue will be resolved.
The ongoing negotiations and challenges surrounding the hosting of the Asia Cup and its potential impact on the 2023 World Cup. Najam Sethi, head of the PCB, issues a warning to India regarding their participation in both tournaments.
The proposal for a hybrid model, with matches played in Pakistan and a neutral venue, is being discussed, but concerns about strained relations and logistical issues persist. The outcome remains uncertain, but the stakes are high, with the possibility of Pakistan’s absence from the World Cup if a resolution is not reached.