The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) can host this year’s Asia Cup, even at a short notice, if the event can’t be held in Pakistan.
The hosting rights of Asia Cup 2023 were awarded to Pakistan by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) but India’s refusal to tour their neighbouring country has made the future of the tournament uncertain.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is keen on ensuring that the event is held at a neutral venue. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not interested in hosting the event outside Pakistan since it would affect its efforts with regards to the return of international cricket in the country.
The BCCI is also unlikely to accept the hybrid model, which included four matches of the group stage in Pakistan with the remainder of the tournament taking place at a neutral venue, proposed by the PCB.
"The SLC is prepared to host the Asia Cup at a short notice. The decision now is up to the ACC," a top SLC official told Cricbuzz.
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 traveling 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.