Asia Cup: Both the India-Pakistan match and the final will be played in Sri Lanka.
Following the BCCI’s reluctance to hold the Asia Cup 2023 in Pakistan, the PCB has been pushing for a hybrid format in which they would host at least the non-India matches in the tournament’s first round. After months of talks with the BCCI, they eventually received authorisation from the Asian Cricket Council. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced on Thursday that the Asia Cup 2023 will be held in Sri Lanka and Pakistan from August 31 to September 17.
According to reports, Lahore will host Pakistan’s first-round match against Nepal in a group that also includes India. Three more group matches will also be contested in Lahore: Bangladesh vs. Afghanistan, Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh.
The action will then travel to Sri Lanka, where two possible India-Pakistan matches – both of which would qualify to face each other in the following round if they defeat Nepal – and the final will take place.
The PCB was ecstatic since this will be the country’s first multi-nation cricket match in fifteen years. The last such tournament was the Asia Cup, which Pakistan hosted in 2008.
“I am overjoyed that our hybrid version for the 2023 ACC Asia Cup has been accepted.” This implies that the PCB will continue to host the event and conduct matches in Pakistan with Sri Lanka serving as the neutral location, as was necessary owing to the unavailability of the Indian cricket team to come to Pakistan,” said Najam Sethi, chairman of the PCB management committee.
“Our ardent supporters would have loved to see the India cricket team play in Pakistan for the first time in 15 years, but we understand the BCCI’s position.” Before crossing countries, the BCCI, like the PCB, requires official approval and clearance.
“In this context, the hybrid model was the best solution, which is why I pushed for it so hard.” The acceptance of the hybrid model means that the event will take place as planned, the ACC will remain intact and united, and the great game of cricket will continue to thrive and progress in what will be interesting and exciting times for subcontinent cricket fans over the next 20 months.
“Over the last 15 months, the PCB has delivered high-profile bilateral series as well as two enormously successful Pakistan Super League events, in which some of the world’s leading cricketers participated and appreciated Pakistan’s outstanding arrangements and unprecedented hospitality.” “We look forward to giving the participating teams a similar experience in the ACC Asia Cup, which will serve as a warm-up for the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan in February/March 2025,” he stated.
Sethi also expressed gratitude to the BCCI and Sri Lanka Cricket for their assistance.
“I now look forward to continuing our discussions and deliberations with the ACC and Sri Lanka Cricket to iron out a few minor operational and logistical details so that we can start planning and preparing for the event.”
“I want to reassure the ACC, its commercial partners, participating countries, and cricket fans in Pakistan and Sri Lanka that the PCB, as event hosts, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the success of the event that is so important to the sides competing in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in October/November in India.”
“I appreciate ACC President Jay Shah’s efforts to strengthen the council so that we can continue to protect each other’s interests while also providing opportunities and platforms to emerging Asian nations.”