The Asia Cup controversy has been resolved, allowing for a trouble-free World Cup in India later this year. The Asia Cup dispute had the potential to result in a Pakistan boycott of the 2018 event, which is set to take place in October-November.
The Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) decision from last Thursday (June 15) appears to have avoided any hostility between the adjacent nations. Potentially resulting in Pakistan’s automatic participation in the World Cup, at least temporarily.
The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, stated in a statement, “I appreciate the efforts of ACC President Jay Shah in strengthening the council so that we can collectively continue to protect each other’s interests and provide opportunities and platforms to emerging Asian nations.”
After deliberation among the ACC members, notably Sethi, who had insisted that Pakistan, as the initial host, shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to host the championship matches, the ACC made their decision. Shah was eager to host the Asia Cup so that the ACC would have enough money to support its operations. It is crucial to underline that the Asia Cup is the continental body’s main revenue source.
“I am thrilled that our hybrid version for the ACC Asia Cup 2023 has been accepted,” continued Sethi. As a result, Sri Lanka will continue to serve as the neutral venue for the event while the PCB continues to serve as the tournament’s host. This was necessary because the Indian cricket team was unable to travel to Pakistan.
“We understand the BCCI’s stance, but our ardent fans would have delighted to watch the Indian cricket team play in Pakistan for the first time in 15 years. The BCCI, like the PCB, needs government authorization and consent before crossing international borders.
“Given this circumstance, the hybrid model was the best course of action, which is precisely why I pushed for it with such vigor. The tournament will proceed as scheduled, the ACC will remain united as a result of the hybrid model’s adoption, and cricket will continue to develop and advance. Over the next 20 months, cricket fans on the subcontinent will live in fascinating and exciting times.
“Over the past 15 months, the PCB has hosted high-profile bilateral series as well as two wildly successful HBL Pakistan Super League games, featuring some of the best cricketers in the world who have benefited from Pakistan’s exceptional preparations and unmatched hospitality. We look forward to giving the competing teams in the ACC Asia Cup, which will act as a lead-up to the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan in February/March 2025, a similar experience.
In order to go forward with our event planning and preparations, I now eagerly anticipate continuing our discussions and deliberations with the ACC and Sri Lanka Cricket to resolve a few minor operational and logistical details.
I want to reassure the ACC, its business partners, the participating nations, and the cricket fans in Pakistan and Sri Lanka that the PCB, as the event host, will make every effort to successfully deliver this crucial event for the teams competing in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India in October/November.
Pakistan will host matches in a multi-nation cricket competition for the first time since 2008 at this time. Pakistan successfully hosted the six-team ACC Asia Cup 50-over competition fifteen years ago.