Pakistan could pull out of Asia Cup 2023: report

The event is set to be hosted by Pakistan

By Web Desk
June 06, 2023
ACC meeting could be called later this month — AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) could decide against competing in the Asia Cup, which is likely to take place in September this year.

According to Press Trust of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan won’t back the hybrid model proposed by the PCB, who are the hosts for the Asia Cup, which means that Pakistan has only two options — play the event at a neutral venue or withdraw.

"It is just a formality now that the Asian Cricket Council executive board members meet virtually or a proper meeting is called later this month,” a well-informed source, aware of the developments, was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.

"But the PCB is now aware that Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are not backing their hybrid model proposal for the Asia Cup,” the source added. 

It must be noted that Board of Control for Cricket in India (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.

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India have also stated it is not logistically or financially feasible to hold the Asia Cup in two countries. 

"Pakistan only has two options. Play the tourney at neutral venue or withdraw," an Asian Cricket Council (ACC) source said. "In case Pakistan doesn't play, it will still be called Asia Cup but broadcaster will renegotiate the deal in absence of Pakistan."

'Asia Cup could be scrapped'

The report added that the Asia Cup could be scrapped this year with India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan playing a multi-team series in 50-over format instead. 

"There is every possibility the Asia Cup might not be held this year because without Pakistan and India matches the broadcasters are not likely to offer the same amount they were offering to the ACC with Pakistan included," the source said.

India is also preparing to host the multi-team series on home soil in the window left vacant by the Asia Cup.