File photo of Jay Shah© X (Twitter)
The Asia Cup 2023 was supposed to take place in Pakistan but the BCCI was not in favour of the arrangement and after extensive talks, a hybrid model was agreed upon where Pakistan would host four matches and nine matches (including all India matches) were to be held in Sri Lanka. However, with rain playing spoilsport in a number of matches taking place in Sri Lanka, the organisers have come under criticism for moving the tournament from Pakistan. Former Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Najam Sethi also lashed out at BCCI secretary Jay Shah for ignoring his request to host the matches in UAE.
Shah responded to the ongoing situation and explained why the decision was taken to move Asia Cup 2023 out of Pakistan.
“All the full members, media rights holder, and in-stadia rights holders were initially hesitant to commit to hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan. This reluctance stemmed from concerns related to the security and economic situation prevailing in the country,” Shah said in the press release.
“In my capacity as ACC President, I was committed to finding a viable and mutually agreeable solution. To this end, I had accepted the hybrid model that was proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in collaboration with the ACC management. However, it’s important to note that the leadership of the PCB underwent several changes, and this resulted in some back-and-forth negotiations, particularly regarding crucial aspects such as tax exemption and insurance for matches.”
“The Asia Cup 2022 edition was played in the UAE in the T20 format. It’s important to emphasize that the dynamics of a T20 tournament cannot be directly compared to those of a 100-over One-day format. In this context, ACC members received feedback from their respective high-performance teams, expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in the month of September. Such a schedule could have potentially led to player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, particularly right before the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup.”
“The decision-making process regarding the Asia Cup 2023 format and venue was guided by a sincere desire to prioritize the well-being of the players, as well as the overarching interests of the sport. Ultimately, the goal was to strike a balance that would allow for a competitive and successful tournament while ensuring the health and readiness of the participating teams for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.”
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