Thursday, May 11, 2023
In another attempt to stop the Asia Cup from being moved out of Pakistan, the country's cricket board floated a new proposal to organise the event in two phases, said the sources.
According to the proposal, all the teams except India will play one match in Pakistan in the first phase. In the second phase, all the teams including India will complete their remaining matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The new model suggests that the final match will also take place in the Gulf country.
Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) suggested a “hybrid model” to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for the Asian event with India’s matches scheduled offshore.
However, that model was reportedly rejected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The members of the ACC will present the new plan to Indian cricket board secretary Jay Shah before making the final decision.
Meanwhile, PCB Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi has left for England after discussing the new proposal with ACC members in Dubai.
It must be noted that in October last year Pakistani cricket authorities hinted they may pull out of next year's World Cup in India, a day after officials there said they would not send a team to the 2023 Asia Cup in Pakistan.
Shah had said that India "can't" send a team to Pakistan, adding the tournament would be moved to a neutral venue.
His announcement caught Pakistan by surprise, with officials warning it could "split" the international cricket community.
The PCB said Shah's comments "can impact Pakistan's visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle".
The Pakistan board said it has not received any official communication from the ACC, and noted that hosting rights for the 2023 Asia Cup had been given to Pakistan under Shah's leadership.
Despite being considered one of the sport's greatest rivalries, India and Pakistan have not met on home soil in any version of the game since 2012, and only play each other in multinational tournaments on neutral grounds.