BIG week for India vs Pakistan hopefuls, Asia Cup, World Cup fate to be decided
As BCCI plays hardball against PCB, ACC meeting in Dubai and ICC meeting in UK will decide Pakistan’s fate in Asia Cup & World Cup.
The next seven days will be crucial for India vs Pakistan cricket. Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will meet in Dubai to decide the fate of the jinxed tournament. It is all but certain that Pakistan will lose its Asia Cup 2023 hosting rights. But on the other hand, the decision will have a far-reaching impact on World Cup 2023.
- Decision 1: Will PCB’s hybrid model get BCCI’s nod?
- Decision 2: Who will host Asia Cup?
- Decision 3: Will Pakistan compete in Asia Cup if stripped of hosting rights?
- Decision 4: Will Pakistan visit India for World Cup?
To note, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not only refused to send a team to Pakistan, but it has also dismissed the idea of any matches in the neighbouring country. But with BCCI playing hardball it is going to be detrimental.
“There is absolutely zero chance that Pakistan will host Asia Cup. We will also take it to the ICC so that the Champions Trophy is also shifted out. For now, Sri Lanka is likely to host the tournament. But a final decision will be taken only at the ACC meeting,” a senior BCCI official close to the development told InsideSport.
Despite mulling over the decision, BCCI has refused to approve PCB’s hybrid model. At any cost, BCCI wants Asia Cup out of Pakistan. Now, it is still unclear if Pakistan will boycott Asia Cup as PCB has already hinted.
If BCCI successfully manages to convince all other Asian cricket nations, Sri Lanka is the likely destination for the tournament. Although Pakistan backed UAE as a possible option, other boards have dismissed the idea.
But the real question is, will Pakistan play in Asia Cup if they lose the hosting rights? The answer is unlikely. PCB chief Najam Sethi has already begun talks with other cricket boards to have a tri-nation series during Asia Cup.
As for Asia Cup, it could be a 5-team affair. However, the ACC has the option to call in a 5th team in UAE or another team to fill in the gap.
What happens to World Cup?
India will host the tournament as planned as International Cricket Council (ICC) is unlikely to strip BCCI of hosting rights. BCCI officials will meet ICC officials on the sidelines of WTC Final at Oval. However, will Pakistan boycott World Cup as well? This is going to be interesting. Despite threatening of a boycott, an already cash-strapped PCB may incur huge fines from ICC. As PCB depends heavily on ICC funds, it cannot afford such a fine.
PCB has already threatened that it will boycott both Asia Cup and World Cup if they lose hosting rights. Even though ICC is trying to mediate between PCB and BCCI, the two boards hardly have any power in overcoming the strained diplomatic relations.
“If the government says that we can play in India for the World Cup despite India not touring Pakistan for the Asia Cup then we will be ready to do so,” Sethi told The Telegraph.
Instead, the contest is between Islamabad and Delhi. Pakistan is likely to demand that all their games in World Cup be played in a neutral venue instead of India. However, an all-powerful BCCI is not going to bow down.
Hence, get ready for a tumultuous week and no India vs Pakistan match even at multi-national events. The possibility is real.
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