12/04/2022
Asia Cup 2023: Upset after ACC President Jay Shahs statement that India will not travel to Pakistan next year, the PCB has sought an urgent meeting of the ACC to discuss the matter.

In its first official response to Shah’s statement that India would like to play the continental tournament at a neutral venue and not tour Pakistan, the PCB took strong exception.

“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.

“The PCB has to date not received any official communication or clarification from the ACC on the statement of the ACC President.

As such, the PCB has now requested the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible to discuss this important and sensitive matter,” the PCB said.

Pakistan has been allotted hosting rights for the Asia Cup which will be held ahead of the ODI World Cup in India in October-November.

The T20 Asia Cup held last month had to be shifted from Sri Lanka to the UAE amid the economic crisis in the island nation.

The 2018 Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in India, was moved to the UAE after the BCCI couldn’t procure clearance from government security agencies to host Pakistan.

India and Pakistan only play each other in Asian and ICC events due to the political tensions between the two countries.

India last toured Pakistan in 2008 while Pakistan’s last series in India came in 2012-13. The PCB said Shah’s statement was surprising and disappointing at the same time.

“The PCB has noted with surprise and disappointment of yesterday’s comments made by the ACC President Mr Jay Shah with regards to shifting of next year’s Asia Cup to a neutral venue.

“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,” it added.

The officials from both the PCB and BCCI will be confronted with the issue at the International Cricket Council’s board meeting in Melbourne next month. The ICC is yet to comment on the matter.

A top official from an Asian cricketing nation hoped the matter would be sorted amicably and said there is no Asia Cup without India or Pakistan.

“It is the biggest match of the Asia Cup and with either team missing, the tournament doesn’t make sense. There is a lot of time left, but I hope the issue is sorted. The neutral venue is the best option if the BCCI decides against sending its team to Pakistan,” the official told PTI.