The Asian Cricket Council is planning to relocate the Asia Cup from Pakistan to Sri Lanka. From the moment BCCI Secretary Jay Shah announced that the Indian team wouldn’t cross the border, the decision was made to move the tournament from Pakistan.
The final decision regarding the location of the tournament will be made by the end this month. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are all in favor of hosting the event on the island nation.
Pakistan’s participation in the tournament is unclear at this time, with reports indicating that it might boycott the event.
The decision is a formality for the moment, as the BCCI has found support from the other ACC member nations.
The PCB proposed a hybrid hosting model for the Asia Cup, where India’s matches would only be held in Dubai.
This proposal has not been taken up by anyone, and the broadcaster of the tournament is also concerned about it.
A month before the 50 over World Cup, September is peak summer in United Arab Emirates. The other boards were hesitant to play in this region. During a recent meeting of ACC members it was reported that Oman had offered to host the 50-over World Cup. However, considering the conditions, Sri Lanka was considered the ideal location.
Dubai was the host of the 2018 Asia Cup, which took place in September. The conditions for players were very difficult. Hardik Pandya suffered a serious back injury during the 2018 edition of the Asia Cup in Dubai. With the World Cup starting the first week of October, teams are keen to use this tournament as a sort-of preparation. The UAE is now completely ruled out. The BCCI has hosted the IPL before in September 2020, but those matches were held in the second part of summer and proved to be difficult for the players.
Sri Lanka Cricket has expressed interest in hosting the tournament and teams are not willing to risk players in extreme heat.
The ACC will make a decision within the next few weeks. If Sri Lanka is chosen to host the event, Dambulla or Pallekele would be possible venues. Colombo normally experiences the monsoon in September.
It remains to be seen how it will affect the World Cup. According to reports coming from Pakistan, the PCB might not take part in the event if the Asia Cup was moved out of the country. In the event that they decide to skip this tournament, their participation in World Cup, which will be hosted by India between October and November, would also be in question.
Asia Cup Format of ODI
The Asia Cup, which was held in Australia in 2022 and won by Sri Lanka, was played under the T20 format because it preceded Australia’s T20 World Cup. The tournament changes between the 20-over and 50 over formats based on which ICC event follows. This time, the tournament will be played using a 50 over format. India won the last tournament in 50-over format. They beat Bangladesh in the final of Dubai.
If Pakistan confirms their participation, then the Asia Cup will be a six team event. Nepal, along with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as Bangladesh and Afghanistan have all qualified for the event by winning the ACC Premier Cup.