The competition for hosting the forthcoming Asia Cup in 2023 is expected to be resolved shortly as Pakistan is anticipated to keep those rights and secure a second foreign location to hold Indian matches. The multi-nation competition is slated to take place in September and will once again use the 50-over format. After a brief impasse, the BCCI and PCB are working quickly to mediate a compromise that might result in both teams playing their tournament matches against one another outside of Pakistan. Although the location of the five games, including at least two India-Pakistan matches, is still up in the air, the UAE, Oman, Sri Lanka, and perhaps England are prospective hosts.
The six-nation Asia Cup, which will take place in the first part of September this year and use a 50-over format, has put India and Pakistan together with a qualifier. Among the other group are Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Throughout the course of 13 days, 13 different matches—including the championship—will be contested. The top two teams from each group move on to the Super 4, and the top two teams then compete in the final, as per the 2022 Asia Cup’s format. A three-game series between Pakistan and India is still a possibility. Before making a final decision, a small working group has been established with the task of developing a timetable and travel itinerary that will be acceptable to all participating nations as well as the broadcaster. The second location outside of Pakistan will likely be determined by the weather, although Asian sites will be eager to stage high-profile India-Pakistan games.
During the ICC’s quarterly board meetings held last weekend in Dubai, members of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) agreed that holding a section of the Asia Cup outside of Pakistan was the most preferable option. The BCCI team, comprising of Arun Dhumal, the head of the IPL governing council, and Jay Shah, the secretary of the PCB which is set to host the 2023 Asia Cup, was present at the meeting. In October, Shah, who was the ACC president at the time, surprised the PCB by announcing that the 2023 Asia Cup would be held in a “neutral” location. The PCB had immediately responded by stating that they would withdraw completely from the event if it was not held in Pakistan, which was the position reaffirmed by Sethi, Shah’s predecessor, during negotiations in both Bahrain and Dubai.
The tournament being split between two nations, including Pakistan, occurred during informal conversations when a deadlock became all too evident, and it was finally presented and considered at the formal ACC conference. It is believed that both PCB and BCCI were amenable to such a scheme, provided that the specifics and practicalities were worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. Before a formal schedule is established, the proposal will also be presented to their individual governments.
India should travel to Pakistan to compete in the September Asia Cup, Pakistan has insisted. They have also stated on a few occasions that the PCB will be obliged to withdraw its squad from the India-hosted ODI World Cup in October-November if India does not travel for the Asia Cup and the competition is transferred elsewhere.