Photo: ANI File
New Delhi: The Asia Cup 2023 is likely to be held in Pakistan, with another overseas venue to host India games.
After a brief stalemate, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are working quickly to broker a compromise that could result in both teams playing their tournament matches against one another outside of Pakistan. India is likely to play their Asia Cup 2023 matches in England, Oman, Sri Lanka or UAE.
"A meeting between the boards had been done a few days back and the tournament will be allowed to be held in Pakistan. India will play their matches at a neutral venue and will not travel to Pakistan, the venues where India could play their matches are likely to be Oman, UAE, England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Though the decision will be decided later," a source told ANI.
The foreign location is still to be determined, although the UAE, Oman, Sri Lanka, and possibly England are viable candidates to host India's matches, including at least two matches between India and Pakistan. The neutral venue is not confirmed but the UAE, Oman, Sri Lanka and even England are potential contenders. If India book their place in the Asia Cup final, the summit clash will take place at a neutral venue.
The six-nation Asia Cup, which will be played in a 50-over format in the first part of September this year, has grouped India and Pakistan together with a qualifier. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are part of the other group.
The final will be one of a total of 13 games that are played over the course of 13 days. The top two teams from each group proceed to the Super 4s, where the top two teams compete in the final, according to the 2022 Asia Cup format.
After the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Bahrain in mid-March ended without a resolution, members converged for two further rounds of informal discussions in Dubai.
The BCCI team included Arun Dhumal, the head of the IPL governing council, and the BCCI secretary Jay Shah. The PCB, which will host the 2023 Asia Cup, was represented by its chair Najam Sethi.
Last October, the PCB was caught off guard by Jay Shah, who stated that the 2023 Asia Cup would be held in a "neutral" venue. The PCB, under the then chairman Ramiz Raja, promptly responded that Pakistan will withdraw from the competition if it was taken outside of the nation.
The proposal for the Asia Cup to be co-hosted by a neutral country was presented and considered at the official ACC meeting.
Last year, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chairperson Jay Shah had stated that India will not travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup due to security reasons and the tournament will be played at some neutral venue, which is to be decided in the second round of the Executive Board meeting of ACC members this month. ANI