Big meeting will be held after IPL Final, Asia Cup will be decided, Pakistan Cricket Board is watching intently

Big meeting will be held after IPL Final, Asia Cup will be decided, Pakistan Cricket Board is watching intently

New Delhi: Pakistan has the right to host the Asia Cup this year, but the Indian cricket team cannot travel to the neighboring country without permission from the central government. In such a situation, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) secretary Jai Shah said on Thursday that the venue of the Asia Cup will be decided in a meeting to be held on the sidelines of the IPL final, in which top officials of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will participate. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi proposed a ‘hybrid model’ that would see four matches being held in his country and India playing their matches at a neutral venue. It is not confirmed whether Sethi has been formally invited for the IPL final or not.

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Jai Shah said, ‘The venue of the Asia Cup has not yet been decided. We were busy with IPL right now, but top functionaries of Sri Lanka Cricket, Bangladesh and Afghanistan Cricket Board are coming to watch the IPL final. We will discuss it and take a decision at the appropriate time.

ACC sources have learned that Sethi’s proposed hybrid model appears to be a viable solution, but ACC has made no formal statement. As per the model, four of the league stage matches of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan will be held in Pakistan while India will play their matches at neutral venues. The two matches between India and Pakistan will be held in Sri Lanka, although the PCB wants to get this match done in Dubai. The weather in UAE in September will not be conducive for holding 50-over matches but in terms of logistics and arrangements, UAE would be a better option for ACC.

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ACC sources said on the condition of anonymity, “ACC chief Jay Shah will call a meeting of the executive board where a formal announcement will be made in this regard.” The PCB has no problem playing against India at a neutral venue. PCB will give priority to Dubai as it will fetch more money from tickets but is ready to play in any other country (read Sri Lanka) provided ACC gets money from sale of tickets to Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) for Indo-Pak match in Dubai in 2022 Match the amount (five lakh dollars).

According to ACC sources, if the hybrid model is approved, Pakistan will organize four matches in the country. This includes their match against Nepal, apart from Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan and Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka. As per the format, the top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Four where they will play each other again. The Super Four round-robin stage will be followed by a final between the top two teams. The Super Four will ensure that there are at least two matches between India and Pakistan, which is beneficial for the host nation, the broadcasters and the ACC. If India and Pakistan make it to the title clash, there will be three matches between the arch-rivals.

An ACC source said, “Sethi has said that initially Pakistan will only play Nepal at home. His proposal is to have six matches in Pakistan, including the two matches of Pakistan’s Super Four in which India will not play. As far as the final is concerned, even if India does not qualify, the ACC will organize it at a neutral venue in Sri Lanka or UAE.

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