Possible Exclusion of Pakistan from Asia Cup Amid Venue Disputes

Possible Exclusion of Pakistan from Asia Cup Amid Venue Disputes

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC), gearing up for the upcoming Asia Cup, may proceed without the participation of Pakistan, according to a report by The Telegraph India

Jay Shah, chairman of the ACC and secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has reportedly rejected the ‘hybrid model’ of Asia Cup proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Instead, Shah is pushing for the tournament to be held at a single venue, preferably Sri Lanka. 

The PCB’s hybrid model suggested hosting the first four group stage matches of the tournament in Pakistan. The subsequent phase, which would include India’s matches and the finals, was proposed to be held at a neutral venue. Under this arrangement, Pakistan would host its group stage match against Nepal, along with matches involving Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The PCB had suggested Dubai as the preferred neutral site within this hybrid scheme. 

The Telegraph India’s report suggests that the ACC’s executive board meeting will communicate to Pakistan that all other participating nations have agreed to play the tournament in Sri Lanka. 

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As the designated hosts, the PCB is faced with the decision to either agree to the single-venue proposal in Sri Lanka or to withdraw from the tournament. In the event of a withdrawal, the Asia Cup would proceed with India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, while the fifth team is yet to be determined. 

The report also indicates that India’s refusal to play in Pakistan and the rejection of the hybrid model might lead Pakistan to contemplate withdrawing from the World Cup. It is understood that the PCB has informed ICC officials that their participation in the World Cup hinges on governmental approval. 

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