Former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif has stated that Asia Cup is likely to be shifted to Sri Lanka or Dubai due to political unrest in Pakistan.
He also gave his opinion on the hybrid model proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, stating that India are unlikely to accept it.
“I don’t think it will happen. Because the political situation is not great. Any team will be a little apprehensive of coming. So, I think the Asia Cup will be shifted to Sri Lanka or Dubai,” Asif said in Tahir ‘The 12th Man’ YouTube channel.
Pakistan were given the rights to host the continental championship, however, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah had said that the Indian team will not travel to the neighbouring country due to security concerns.
In reply to BCCI’s policy towards Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan responded that their participation in the ICC Cricket World 2023, which will take place in India later this year, will be entirely contingent on India’s participation in the Asia Cup.
It must be noted that the BCCI has refused to send their team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup and is keen on ensuring that the event is held at a neutral venue. However, the 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 Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had, earlier, expressed reservations over UAE being one of the neutral venues due to extreme heat.
"We are interested to play in the Asia Cup. Whatever model the tournament is held in, we are interested. If the ACC decides that the tournament will be played in Dubai and the other members agree, we will have to play there," BCB's cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus told local media on Monday.
"There is discomfort since we are focused on the World Cup. We are thinking of preparations and that's why we didn't want to play in Dubai. We are waiting on ACC's decision," he added.