ACC approves PCB’s hybrid plan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to co-host the Asia Cup

The first four games of the group stage in the tournament’s primary phase will be played in Pakistan, according to the suggested plan. 

According to the Press Trust of India (PTI), on Saturday, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is anticipated to approve the hybrid format that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has suggested for co-hosting the 2023 Asia Cup.

The first four games of the group stage in the tournament’s primary phase will be played in Pakistan, according to the suggested plan. The third phase, which will include games involving India and the championship match, will take place in a neutral location, perhaps Sri Lanka.

Under the agreement, Pakistan will host Nepal for their group-stage encounter. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka will also compete in their pool matches in Pakistan.

After the hybrid model is formally approved by the ACC, which is anticipated to do so on Tuesday, the Pakistani side would be able to fly to India for the ODI World Cup, which is set to take place there in October-November.

The majority of nations didn’t want a hybrid approach, therefore Pankaj Khimji, the head of the Oman Cricket Board and one of the respected ACC executive board members, was tasked with finding a solution. But as of right now, the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore will host four non-Indian matches: Pakistan vs. Nepal, Bangladesh vs. Afghanistan, Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh, according to a member of the ACC board quoted by PTI.

“The two India versus Pakistan games and all other Super Four games will be held in either Pallekele or Galle,” the board member continued.

The BCCI secretary and ACC chairman, Jay Shah, had initially made it clear that they would not accept the hybrid model proposed by the PCB. Shah recently raised the issue with the leaders of the member countries and suggested that the competition be held in a single location, specifically Sri Lanka. The BCCI, however, seems to have made a change of heart because the PTI article claims that they are now prepared to accept the hybrid approach.

Najam Sethi, the head of the PCB management committee, previously threatened to boycott both the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup in India later this year if their hybrid concept was rejected. The International Cricket Council (ICC)’s Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice recently paid a visit to Lahore to discuss PCB’s concerns and met with PCB representatives to secure a commitment that the Pakistan team would travel to India for the 2023 World Cup.

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