In a major development surrounding the 2023 Asia Cup, island nation Sri Lanka has emerged as the front-runner to host the multi-team event in September. With BCCI refusing to send its team across the border for the slated event and with UAE getting ruled out as an option due to harsh weather conditions during that month, Sri Lanka looks like a viable venue to host Asia Cup, as per the Indian Express.
Earlier, we reported that the BCCI received support from its close allies in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan cricket boards over not sending the team to Pakistan and staging the 2023 Asia at a neutral venue or out of Pakistan. With an official word on the much-talked-about 2023 Asia Cup venue likely to be out by the end of this month at the earliest, it remains to be seen what stance PCB will take.
As per Geo News, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) would consider bringing UAE in place of Pakistan for the tournament if the Men in Green consider boycotting it as a response to snatching away of hosting rights.
Earlier, after the end of the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, the ACC, under the chairmanship of Jay Shah – who also happens to be BCCI secretary, decided to allot Pakistan a chance to host Asia Cup on their soil for the first time since 2008.
However, after getting a red signal from the Narendra Modi-led government, the BCCI refused to send the team to Pakistan.
PCB chief, Najam Sethi then also proposed a hybrid model wherein the Indian team will play its matches outside of Pakistan – to which the Indian cricket board snubbed the offer mentioning this will make things awkward between both BCCI and PCB.
After BCCI denied accepting anything that PCB had to offer, the Pakistani board retaliated, threatening BCCI of boycotting the 2023 World Cup in India later this year.
“In case of India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan to compete in the Asia Cup, chances are there that the Pakistan government would not allow the Men in Green to cross the borders for their World Cup participation. In that case, cricket will be the ultimate sufferer,” Sethi said, as quoted in Geo News.