As the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi arrived in Dubai in yet another attempt to resolve the months-long deadlock on India’s demand for a “neutral” venue for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, the next 48 hours have been deemed crucial in deciding the fate of the tournament.
In Dubai, Sethi is set to hold talks with officials of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), and will likely decide the fate of the upcoming tournament, scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan later this year.
Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to send the Indian team to Pakistan for the tournament citing “security concerns” and demanded that the event be held at a “neutral” venue.
However, the PCB does not want to host the entire event outside Pakistan since doing so would affect its efforts to bring back international cricket to the country. It had instead suggested a hybrid model, offering to host Indian matches outside of Pakistan, while the remaining others be played in Pakistan.
However, the BCCI is also unlikely to accept the hybrid model.
The chairman of the PCB management committee had called for a rational approach to solve the looming crisis that threatens the successful hosting of the Asia Cup and the country’s participation in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup this year.
Talking to the media on the occasion of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) meeting, Sethi said the chances of the Pakistan team traveling to India for the One Day International (ODI) World Cup are low.
“In case of India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan to compete in the Asia Cup, chances are that the Pakistan government will not allow the Men in Green to cross the borders for their World Cup participation. In that case, cricket will be the ultimate sufferer,” Sethi said.
“There should be a middle way to solve problems that surely threaten the smooth hosting of ICC and ACC events. In case of India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, the government will not allow us to travel to India to figure in the World Cup matches,” he added.