Asia Cup 2023: PCB-ACC officials to finalise details in Dubai

"One thing is certain that only window available to host Asia Cup is first 15 days of September," official says

A representational image of the Asia Cup trophy. — AFP/File
A representational image of the Asia Cup trophy. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) high-ups are set to meet representatives of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Dubai on Sunday and Monday to finalise the details and schedule of the ACC Asia Cup — scheduled to start from August 31, The News reported Friday.

One of the PCB officials — attending the International Cricket Council (ICC) meetings in Durban, South Africa — told The News that after initial talks, PCB officials will meet ACC representatives in Dubai this weekend to decide all the details relating to the Asia Cup.

However, initial negotiations have been completed, confirming early reports that Pakistan would host only four matches.

"To start with, the ACC just agreed to hold one Asia Cup match (Pakistan vs Nepal) in Pakistan but following a series of discussion between former Management Committee chairman Najam Sethi and ACC officials it was decided that Pakistan would host three matches and then a fourth was added," the official said.

He further said: "Pakistan will host four matches now that include Pakistan vs Nepal and almost all the first round matches of other groups, Afghanistan vs Bangladesh, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan.

"Pakistan will play against arch-rivals India most probably in Dambulla twice in a week and then again if both teams make it to the final."

The PCB official added that it was not important that matches would be played in Sri Lanka; instead, the financial aspect was more important.

"It has already been finalised that Pakistan will only host Asia Cup matches as a host nation while the rest of the event will be held in Sri Lanka.

"The important thing is how much Pakistan gets as revenue to host remaining matches in Sri Lanka.

"By organising the event in UAE, we were confident of getting a healthy revenue from gate money, ground hoarding and other such related marketing ventures.

"But in Sri Lanka it is hard to generate an extra amount. We have to reach some understanding with the ACC to ensure that we would get revenues we are looking at."

Even during Sethi's tenure as the head of the PCB Committee, Pakistan was engaged in talks with ACC officials to ensure the amount equal to what India generated by hosting Asia Cup in the UAE last year.

"That is what we are looking at and that is to generate the same revenues what India generated from hosting the Asia Cup last year in Dubai."

Apart from revenue, other issues related to teams, officials, and journalists travelling will also come under discussion in Sunday's meeting in Dubai.

"PCB Chairman Zaka Ashtraf and BCC secretary Jay Shah who met a couple of days back in Durban had an initial discussion on all the issues which are expected to be finalized in Dubai before its official announcement.

"One thing is certain that the only window available to host the Asia Cup is the first fifteen days of September with one match already decided to be held on August 31. From September 15 onward the World Cup preparations will take the centre stage," the official said.