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Massive Blow For Pakistan, Asia Cup 2023 Likely to be Moved to Sri Lanka: Reports

Sri Lanka is likely to host Asia Cup 2023 is a major blow to Pakistan (Twitter Image)

Sri Lanka is likely to host Asia Cup 2023 is a major blow to Pakistan (Twitter Image)

Asia Cup 2023 is likely to be shifted to Sri Lanka, which comes as a massive blow to Pakistan after BCCI’s refusal to send the Indian team across the border

Asia Cup 2023 is likely to be moved to Sri Lanka in what would be a major blow to original hosts Pakistan. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had threatened to boycott the ODI World Cup 2023 in India after BCCI secretary Jay Shah said that the Indian team would be unwilling to travel across the border to play the Asia Cup.

As per a report in PTI, Sri Lanka is likely to host the continental tournament instead of Pakistan, with a final confirmation regarding the host nation likely to be announced by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) before the end of May. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan had also backed the BCCI’s call for Asia Cup 2023 to be moved out of Pakistan with the island nation likely to get the nod.

It remains to be seen whether Pakistan would participate in the tournament if it gets to Sri Lanka.

“Najam Sethi (PCB chairman) was in Dubai today to procure support but to his horror there were no takers for his proposal of Pakistan playing its games in Karachi or Lahore and India playing in UAE. Sri Lanka was always with BCCI and now even Bangladesh Cricket Board seemed opposed to the idea,” an ACC source told PTI.

ALSO READ| Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Back BCCI Over Moving Asia Cup 2023 Out of Pakistan – Report

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) want to remain the host nation for the Asia Cup 2023 although BCCI had cited refusal from the government as one of the major factors for the same to be moved away after which PCB proposed that India’s matches can be hosted in Dubai.

The proposal was not received well given the peak summer months of the United Arab Emirates in September, with heat in the Gulf region becoming unbearable. Not just the BCCI but other boards too expressed their concerns about playing in the heat of the gulf just a month before the ODI World Cup in India.

“Also it’s not about Pakistan hosting its own matches. It also means that if India and Pakistan are in same group, the third team will be travelling to and fro between Dubai and a city in Pakistan,” the source added.

“Also logistically, the broadcasters wouldn’t want to send separate units in two countries. Sri Lanka, just like UAE doesn’t require inter-city flights whether you play at the Khettarama (Premadasa Stadium), SSC or Galle or Kandy,” the source was quoted as saying.

UAE was thus ruled out as a host nation given the conditions in the Gulf, Dubai had previously hosted the 2018 Asia Cup but it was an extremely challenging tournament for the players.

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“Even ICC won’t agree to Pakistan playing its matches outside India (during World Cup). So let’s see what PCB decides,” the source added.

Hardik Pandya had picked up a back injury back then, and teams will be looking to prepare for the ODI World Cup 2023 during the Asia Cup, and thus Sri Lanka emerged as a potential host.

The Asia Cup 2023 is likely to be played between September 2-17, with the ODI World Cup 2023 set to begin in October through to November.

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