PCB suggests 'hybrid model' for Asia Cup to ensure India's participation

PCB has insisted on hosting the Asia Cup in September or it will withdraw from the tournament

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Friday, March 24, 2023
Security personnel stand outside the PCB headquarters in Lahore. — AFP/File


ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has suggested a “hybrid model” to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for the Asia Cup scheduled for this September with India’s matches scheduled offshore for the 50-over competition that will be hosted in Pakistan, reported The News citing sources on Friday.

As per the publication, the PCB while suggesting a hybrid model has also reiterated its earlier stance that if its suggestion is not acceptable to the ACC and if any decision to relocate the tournament is made then the Pakistan will withdraw from the competition.

Sources, told the publication that the PCB, in the series of meetings held over the past few days in the United Arab Emirates, insisted on hosting the Asia Cup in September or it will withdraw from the tournament.

“The PCB is very clear on the Asia Cup. It is Pakistan’s right to host the cup and if any attempts are made to take the event away, Pakistan will not take part in any such exercise. However, to safeguard the interest of the competition and participating countries, the PCB has proposed a hybrid model in which some India matches are scheduled offshore. The PCB’s proposal, submitted by Chairman Najam Sethi, will be reviewed by the ACC, which will revert with comments,” a source told the publication.

According to The News, PCB’s options were discussed during the formal and informal meetings held between the ACC member countries to settle the impasse. In the end, it was suggested that Najam Sethi’s “hybrid model” would be considered seriously by the ACC members to resolve the lingering issue that has already endangered the existence of the continent cricket family.

“The ACC will provide their feedback to the PCB suggestion, following which further decisions will be made. However, if the proposal resubmitted by the ACC is not in the interest of Pakistan cricket, then the PCB will have no option but to withdraw from the event. For the PCB, only an event schedule that protects the genuine rights of the country’s cricket will be acceptable,” said the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

However, the official did not share the details of the “hybrid model”.

The publication reported that such an offer will only be acceptable to the PCB if it is assured that the financial rights and genuine earnings from the Asia Cup will be provided to it.

If India is adamant to play their matches on a neutral venue, the PCB will not be in a position to bear any extra liabilities, which in that case would be too heavy.

India and Pakistan have been placed in the same group of the Asia Cup and chances are that the two arch-rivals may go on to play three times against each other (pool match, super four and the final).

The ACC is expected to provide its feedback to the PCB on the hybrid model within the next few weeks for consideration and approval.