Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday indicated that the possibility of moving the venue for next year’s Asia Cup could “impact” Pakistan’s visit to India for the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, as well as future ICC events in India in the 2024-31 cycle.
PCB further said that the comments made by Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president and BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Tuesday over shifting next year’s Asia Cup to a neutral venue as India would not travel to Pakistan were noted with “surprise and disappointment”.
“The comments were made without any discussion or consultation with the Board of the Asian Cricket Council or the Pakistan Cricket Board (event host) and without any thoughts towards their long-term consequences and implications.
“After having presided over the ACC meeting during which Pakistan was awarded the ACC Asia Cup with an overwhelming support and response from the ACC Board Members, Mr Shah’s statement of shifting of the ACC Asia Cup has clearly been made unilaterally,” said the PCB in an official statement.
The 2023 edition of the Asia Cup, to be held in the 50-over format, had been allotted to Pakistan as per the ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP).
“This is contrary to the philosophy and spirit for which the Asian Cricket Council was formed in September 1983 — a united Asian cricket body to safeguard the interests of the its Members and organise, develop, and promote the game of cricket in Asia.
“The overall impact of such statements have the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities, and can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle,” added the PCB.
PCB also said it has requested for an emergency meeting of the ACC board to discuss the matter. “The PCB has to date not received any official communication from the ACC on the statement of the ACC President. As such, the PCB has written to the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible on this important and sensitive matter.”
Earlier, on Tuesday, the BCCI after the end of their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai, arrived at a conclusion that it will not travel to its neighbouring country for the tournament and demanded that the tournament be moved to a neutral venue.
“Neutral venue for the Asia Cup is not unprecedented and we have decided that we will not travel to Pakistan,” Shah, who is also the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “I have decided that we will play at a neutral venue,” he added.
Notably, the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup, held in the T20 format, was also played in a neutral venue after an economic and political crisis engulfed host nation Sri Lanka. The tournament was then held in UAE, where Sri Lanka emerged as the champions after beating Pakistan in the final in Dubai.