Asia Cup: PCB proposes to host four games in Pakistan, remainder in UAE

During the meeting with ACC Vice President in Dubai, Najam Sethi presented the proposed schedule and alterations to the hybrid model, in an attempt to save the Asia Cup

Asia Cup: PCB proposes to host four games in Pakistan, remainder in UAE PHOTO: PCB

The Asia Cup is scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September this year, but India has declined to travel to Pakistan for the event due to political tensions between the two nations.

To resolve the issue, Pakistan proposed a hybrid model during an Asian Cricket Council meeting, under which all teams would play in Pakistan except for India, who would play their matches at a neutral venue. However, India has also rejected this proposal and is now pushing for the entire tournament to take place at a neutral location.

ALSO READ: Pakistan players gear up for central contract negotiations with PCB

Najam Sethi, the head of the PCB management committee, recently travelled to the UAE for important meetings in this regard with officials of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Emirates Cricket Board. According to sources, on Tuesday, Sethi had a meeting with ACC Vice President, Pankaj Khimji, where he presented further details about the hybrid model.

During the meeting, Sethi presented the proposed schedule and alterations to the hybrid model, in an attempt to save the Asia Cup.

According to the proposed schedule, four matches will take place in Pakistan, whereas the remaining seven matches and the final will be held in UAE.

All four teams except India - Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal will come to Pakistan once to play their matches, and then all four teams along with the Men in Green will travel to Dubai via chartered flights for the remaining games.

During the meeting, Pankaj raised the question that whether it will be possible logistically and whether the broadcasters will feel comfortable carrying crew and equipment between the two countries. In response, Sethi said that they will only have to travel to Pakistan once, hence there should be no issue of repeatedly going back and forth.

Similarly, if there is an issue with Indian broadcasters coming to Pakistan, PCB has also offered to handle the TV production in Pakistan. 

When the question of Dubai's heat arose, Sethi replied that such reservations were not mentioned when the IPL and the Asia Cup took place in similar weather conditions.

ACC is expected to provide a response regarding the proposed schedule after discussions with ACC President, Jay Shah.

It is expected that a final decision will be made regarding this matter later this month. Sources have further revealed that if there is continued insistence on holding the entire event at a neutral venue, then Pakistan may not participate in the tournament. The PCB has already started planning regarding holding a triangular tournament in case they do not participate in Asia Cup. However, the PCB hopes that the situation can be resolved amicably and the new proposal is accepted.

Emirates Cricket Board is also expected to use its influence on India, but if there is insistence on holding the event in Sri Lanka, then Pakistan will demand compensation, including the earnings from ticket revenue. Hence the SLC President wants to strengthen his position by earning some money for his board by hosting an Asian event in their country.

The broadcasters are anticipating two Pakistan vs India matches in the Asia Cup, hence if Pakistan pulls out of the tournament, the ACC is expected to incur heavy loss in terms of revenue.

It must be noted that in the previous ACC meeting, the Bangladeshi representatives had clearly stated that there could be no Asia Cup without Pakistan. However, they have also raised objection to playing in UAE's hot weather. Similarly, PCB had sent their team to play the series in Sharjah, helping Afghanistan in their difficult times. Hence, they are also willing to support Pakistan.