The fate of the Asia Cup could be decided later this week when the heads of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Afghanistan Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket meet Asian Cricket Council president Jay Shah in Ahmedabad.
As a tradition, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to invite the presidents and other dignitaries of the Asian cricket boards for the IPL final on May 28.
“The respective presidents of the Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka Cricket Boards will grace the Tata IPL 2023 final to be held on May 28 at the Narendra Modi Stadium. We will hold discussions with them for outlining the future course of action in relation to Asia Cup 2023,” Shah, who’s also the secretary of the BCCI, said.
Last week, the Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi told Sportstar that being the host, the PCB is awaiting a formal response from the Asian Cricket Council on its proposed ‘hybrid model’ for the Asia Cup.
The tournament, scheduled to be held in September, has run into rough waters with India refusing to travel to Pakistan and the latter refusing to relent from its stand of paying for ‘at least four matches’ at home in a hybrid model.
On average, an India vs Pakistan fixture generates about 80 per cent of the revenue of the Asia Cup. This time, with the PCB having the hosting rights, it has proposed two models - one, where India would play its matches at a neutral venue in the United Arab Emirates and all other matches would be played in Pakistan; two, at least four group league matches, featuring teams other than India, would take place in Pakistan while the rest of the matches, including the final, would be played at a neutral venue.
While the first model has been rejected, a formal decision is yet to be made on the second proposal, but the ACC is looking to find a solution soon.
Over the last few months, Shah and Sethi met thrice - in Bahrain and Dubai - and spoke at length about the possibilities of holding the tournament.
Sources have indicated that the PCB is open to playing India at a neutral venue - preferably in Dubai, as it would generate higher gate receipts.
“My understanding was that there were apprehensions on whether the neutral venue would be in Dubai or not. I was reluctant to host it in Sri Lanka as being the host, the gate money should come to us. Dubai, on the other hand, would be houseful for the India vs Pakistan game and there’s also a good gate fee,” Sethi had told this publication last week.
Reports have emerged that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had raised objections.
But now with the ACC chief discussing the future course of action with the heads of three boards, the deadlock is expected to be broken soon.
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