اردو

2020 Asia Cup in doubt after ACC meeting gets postponed over COVID-19 outbreak

Pakistan is the designated host for the tournament

PHOTO: AFP

The fate of Asia Cup 2020 hangs in the balance as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to postpone its next meeting.

The meeting held great significance as the venue of the upcoming tournament, scheduled for September this year, is yet to be finalised.

Although Pakistan is the designated host for the 2020 Asia Cup, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani had revealed earlier this month that the tournament will have to be hosted at a neutral venue due to their strained political relations with India.

“Asia Cup will be hosted by Pakistan however the event would have to take place at a neutral venue. If we insist on hosting the event in Pakistan, the Indian team will not take part. We do not care what the BCCI says,” Mani said.

ALSO READICC postpones Men’s T20 World Cup qualifiers due to coronavirus pandemic

Mani’s statement came after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly said that the tournament will be played in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Asia Cup will be held in Dubai and both India and Pakistan will play," Ganguly said.

However, the PCB is still hoping to host teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Pakistan as part of the tournament, even if the rest of the competition takes place at a neutral venue.

ACC had already cancelled their previous meeting earlier this month also due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

ACC Executive Board was hoping to discuss multiple venue options with its member boards on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting later this month. However, the ICC meeting will now happen on Friday via video conference due to the aforementioned virus.

With the coronavirus pandemic escalating in the region and no ACC meetings lined up in near future, there is a cloud over the tournament happening at all this year.