The upcoming Asia Cup 2023 is facing potential boycott threats from Pakistan, which has forced India to consider a “hybrid model” for the tournament. This proposed model would have other teams play their matches in Pakistan while the Indian team would play their matches in another country.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to play in UAE due to concerns about hot weather and instead suggested Sri Lanka as a potential host country. Meanwhile, Pakistan put forward Oman as an alternative option. England was also considered as a possible venue, although it is far away. Talks are progressing rapidly in this regard, and a final schedule is expected to be released within the next 4-5 days.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) did not accept the suggestion of swapping the host country to another location, and talks are currently ongoing to determine the final schedule for the tournament. The board has taken a strong stance regarding the upcoming World Cup, insisting that if the Indian team does not participate in the Asia Cup, the Pakistan team will not travel to India for the World Cup.
Despite the potential financial loss, Pakistan emphasized the importance of taking care of the sentiments of their fans rather than the monetary aspect. Additionally, the country has already earned significant revenue from the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and would not agree to a complete shift of the Asia Cup to a neutral venue.
During the meeting, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed their understanding of India’s concerns but urged for a solution to be found as important events such as the World Cup and Champions Trophy are approaching. They proposed that only the matches of the Indian team be transferred to another country to avoid the increased expenses of broadcasting and traveling in two countries. Pakistan also presented a schedule, but time was requested for consideration.
Despite concerns about traveling to Pakistan, the PCB had already taken steps to ensure safety and security for all teams. A representative from Pakistan made an announcement that if any country had concerns or objections about sending their team, they should present a letter from their government stating so. However, it was noted that apart from India, no other country expressed any apprehensions about sending their team to Pakistan.
It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold, but with the World Cup and other important cricketing events approaching, it is important for all parties involved to find a solution that is in the best interest of the sport.