Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Thursday accepted the hybrid model presented by Pakistan Cricket Board for upcoming tournament.
This will be the first time since 2008 that matches of a multi-nation cricket tournament will be staged in Pakistan. 15 years ago, Pakistan had successfully delivered the six-team ACC Asia Cup 50-over tournament.
Despite strong opposition from India, the tournament will be hosted in a hybrid model with four matches being held in Pakistan, and the remaining nine matches being played in Sri Lanka.
The ACC announced the decision to accept PCB’s model while revealing the schedule for the much-anticipated tournament which was riddled with controversy due to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stubbornness.
“We are delighted to announce that the Asia Cup 2023 will be held from 31st August to 17th September 2023 and will see the elite teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal, compete in a total of 13 exciting ODI matches,” the council said in a statement issued in this regard.
PCB Chairman Statement
PCB Management Committee Chairperson Najam Sethi, in a statement issued by the sport’s governing body in Pakistan, thanked the ACC for accepting the hybrid model.
“I am elated that our hybrid version for the ACC Asia Cup 2023 has been accepted. This means the PCB will remain as the event host and stage matches in Pakistan with Sri Lanka as the neutral venue, which was required due to the Indian cricket team’s inability to travel to Pakistan,” said Sethi. He added that Pakistan understands BCCI’s position in the matter.
“Like the PCB, the BCCI also requires government approval and clearance before crossing borders. In this background, the hybrid model was the best solution and that’s precisely why I advocated for it so strongly. The acceptance of the hybrid model means the event will take place as originally planned, the ACC will stay together and united, and the great game of cricket will continue to thrive and move forward in what will be interesting and exciting times for the subcontinent cricket fans in the coming 20 months,” said the former journalist turned cricket administrator.
The Asia Cup will feature two groups, with two teams from each group qualifying for the Super Four stage. The top two teams from the Super Four stage will then face each other in the final.
The Asia Cup will be a 50-over event as it will be used to prepare for the ODI World Cup scheduled later this year.
Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group 1 of the Asia Cup, whereas Group 2 will feature defending champions Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Remember that the hybrid model was proposed by the PCB after the BCCI refused to send their team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup following lame excuse of security issue.
India have not toured Pakistan since 2008 due to strained relations between the two countries.
The last bilateral series between the arch-rivals took place in 2012, when Pakistan toured India for limited-overs matches.
Over the past few years, the two countries have only faced each other in ICC and ACC events.