Home » PCB Seeking to Host at Least One More Asia Cup Match
Featured Global News News Sports

PCB Seeking to Host at Least One More Asia Cup Match

After successfully securing a part of its rights to host the Asia Cup through the hybrid model, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wants more.

According to the model, four matches of the regional extravaganza — scheduled for August-September — are to be held in Pakistan before the tournament moves to Sri Lanka for the remaining matches, including those featuring India, who are restricted by their government to travel across the border.

With the official schedule of the tournament yet to be released, the PCB is carrying out “negotiations” with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to add one more matches to its part.

“Four minimum matches have been given to PCB for the Asia Cup but we are in negotiations to get one more match,” the PCB’s interim Management Committee chairman Najam Sethi said during a press conference here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.

The revelation by Sethi contradicted the ACC’s announcement a day earlier that mentioned “four matched being held in Pakistan”; their group match against Nepal and three of the other group, involving Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The PCB, however, is looking to host at least one more Super Four match involving Pakistan and one of the top two sides from the other group.

If the board’s efforts materialise, Pakistan will travel to Sri Lanka after their Nepal match to play arch-rivals India before flying back to play their first Super Four match.

Only after that, the Asia Cup — to be held from August 31 to September 17 — will fully move to Sri Lanka.

“The venues of the matches both in Pakistan and Sri Lanka are being finalised and the schedule will be announced by the next week,” said Sethi.

The hybrid model was proposed in first place to accommodate India’s inability to tour Pakistan due to bitter political rivalry between the two countries.

It took a few months of correspondence between the PCB, the ACC and the other member boards of the continental body including the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the model to be approved amid reported opposition from the latter.

The PCB had also threatened to boycott the ICC World Cup — to be held in India in October-November — in case the hybrid model was not accepted.

For Sethi, the proposal was not a threat but a “solution”.

The ACC was mentally prepared to shift the Asia Cup from Pakistan and we had only two options; to boycott it or to bow down to the BCCI,“ said the PCB chief.

“But we worked very hard on convincing all the members to accept the hybrid model, which is not blackmailing but a solution to solve many issues being created due to the political issues between India and Pakistan.”

The PCB had initially demanded for the hybrid model to be applied to the World Cup as well, which would have meant Pakistan playing their matches of the 50-over showpiece outside India.

The board have now made its stance flexible on the issue and Sethi said the Pakistan travelling to India for the World Cup would be subject to the federal government’s approval.

Sethi said hosting the Asia Cup would boost Pakistan’s prospects as a venue for bigger international tournaments in the future.

The first of such events would be the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy.

Source : Dawn