Afghanistan, Nepal give green signal to PCB on Asia Cup hybrid model

PCB has named Dubai as a preferred neutral venue

May 18, 2023
Afghanistan vs Nepal - Associated Press

RAWALPINDI: After Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal have also given the green signal to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Asia Cup 2023 hybrid model.

According to sources, the boards of Afghanistan and Nepal have agreed to play first phase of the Asia Cup in Pakistan. Both boards, via email, have ensured their participation in Asia Cup matches in Pakistan. 

Earlier, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh confirmed that they have no reservations about playing first phase of Asia Cup in the host country. 

It must be noted here that PCB has offered two options in the hybrid model. In first option, India will play their matches at a neutral venue whereas all other matches will be played in Pakistan. In another option, four matches of the group stage in the first phase will take place in Pakistan whereas second phase, in which matches of Indian team followed by the next stage matches including the final, will be played at a neutral venue.

PCB, according to sources, has named Dubai as a preferred neutral venue in a hybrid model. If Dubai hosts the second phase of the Asia Cup, according to the second hybrid model, PCB will get its share in gate money. However, PCB will have to bear the loss if the neutral venue is other than the UAE.

A meeting on Asia Cup's hybrid model is expected by the end of this month. If the hybrid model is accepted, then all the member boards will finalise the neutral venue. 

Earlier, the chairman of the PCB Management Committee, Najam Sethi, called for a rational approach to solve the looming crisis that threatens the successful hosting of the Asia Cup and the country's participation in the ODI World Cup this year.

Talking to the media on the occasion of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) meeting, Sethi said the Pakistan team’s chances of travelling to India for the ODI World Cup are low.

“In case of India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan to compete in the Asia Cup, chances are there that the Pakistan government would not allow the Men in Green to cross the borders for their World Cup participation. In that case, cricket will be the ultimate sufferer,” Sethi said.

“There should be a middle way to solve problems that surely threaten the smooth hosting of ICC and ACC events. In case of India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, the government will not allow us to travel to India to figure in the World Cup matches,” he added.