If recent reports are to be believed, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is gearing up for an Asia Cup 2023 without Pakistan. If this media report has any element of truth and Pakistan do not participate in the continental tournament then certainly it would also cast a huge doubt over the Babar Azam & Co.’s participation in the ODI World Cup Set to be played in India. It is being learnt that all the members of the ACC, barring Pakistan, who are official hosts of the tournament, have agreed to play the continental tournament. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is still stuck on the ‘Hybrid Model’ suggesting that a few matches including the India games be held at a neutral venue like UAE while the rest of the fixtures happen in Pakistan.
However, a report carried by The Telegraph claims that BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, who doubles up as the ACC President, has convinced the other members of the Asian Council to play in Sri Lanka. The same report has also claimed that the BCCI has refused the hybrid model of having matches in Dubai citing exceesive heat in the Middle East in that time of the year as a reason.
According to sources, it has been disclosed to The Telegraph that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will receive a clear message during the upcoming executive board meeting of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The message will convey that all the other participating nations have unanimously agreed to play the tournament in Sri Lanka. Despite being designated as the hosts for this edition of the tournament, the PCB has failed to garner support for its proposal and is left with no choice but to comply with the decision to hold the tournament in Sri Lanka or withdraw from hosting it altogether.
In case, Pakistan Cricket Team does not participate in the event, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be the four Asia Cup 2023 teams that could compete in the tournament. However, India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan and not agreeing to the hybrid model either could in turn invite extreme steps from PCB including boycotting the ODI World Cup in India. The International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice were in Lahore to seek assurances from PCB regarding its participation in the ODI World Cup. What is discussed in thhis meeting is expected to be out in public domain later on Thursday when the PCB share an official media release.