The hosting rights of 2023 Asia Cup may remain with Pakistan, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) might be forced to host the matches involving India, including the final in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to Pakistani media following Saturday’s meeting of the Asian Cricket Council.
Last year, Indian cricket board secretary & Asian Cricket Council President Jay Shah revealed that India will not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup and insisted on changing the venue for the tournament. In reply, then PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja stated that if India doesn’t participate in the tournament, then they would not participate in the ICC World Cup 2023 scheduled in India.
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Two weeks ago, current PCB chairman, Najam Sethi in a press conference in Lahore, said that he would present their stance in an emergency ACC meeting, which took place in Bahrain on Saturday.
According to sources, Shah made it clear to Sethi that Indian government will not allow Team India to travel to Pakistan due to security reasons. PCB chairman insisted that almost every international team have recently travelled to Pakistan and were provided excellent security. India would receive the same security as other teams did, hence they should come to Pakistan. However, Shah was adamant on his stance.
UAE was also explored as an option in the aforementioned meeting. Other member countries including India, also want the tournament to be held in UAE. Sri Lanka is also being looked as an alternative due to high ground and hospitality expenses in UAE. However, it was decided the Pakistan would retain the hosting rights regardless of wherever the event takes place.
Another option of hosting Indian matches only in UAE was also under discussion, with other teams playing their matches in Pakistan. In case, India qualifies for the final, then the final would also be shifted to Dubai, UAE. This option can further increase the expenditures.
A final decision on the venue will be taken in March when the ICC and ACC Executive Board meetings take place one after the other, since the issues are the same in the 2023 Asia Cup (Pakistan), World Cup 2023 (India) and 2025 Champions Trophy (Pakistan).