Cricket
Question mark on Asia Cup again, incoming PCB chief rejects ACC’s ‘Hybrid Model’

Question mark on Asia Cup again, incoming PCB chief rejects ACC’s ‘Hybrid Model’

Days after Asian Cricket Council (ACC) accepted Pakistan’s hybrid model proposal for Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made a u-turn. PCB’s incoming chairman Zaka Ashraf who will succeed Najam Sethi has rejected the model, putting a question mark on the tournament again. It is slated to start on August 31 in Pakistan […]

Days after Asian Cricket Council (ACC) accepted Pakistan’s hybrid model proposal for Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made a u-turn. PCB’s incoming chairman Zaka Ashraf who will succeed Najam Sethi has rejected the model, putting a question mark on the tournament again. It is slated to start on August 31 in Pakistan with the final on September 17 in Sri Lanka.

“The first point is that I had rejected the hybrid model in the past itself – because I do not agree with it. The board of the Asian Cricket Council had decided that it should be held in Pakistan, then we should host it,” Ashraf said during a press conference in the Pakistan capital on Wednesday.

Will Pakistan play in Asia Cup 2023?

While PCB’s changing stance with its changing chairman does not make any difference to world cricket, it could jeopardise Pakistan’s own position. If Ashraf sticks to his words, BCCI will play hardball and will emphasise on moving the entire tournament out of Pakistan.

In that case, PCB will have no choice but to either play in Sri Lanka or boycott the tournament altogether. Ashraf’s hard stance could also Pakistan’s World Cup participation in a limbo.

If Ashraf does not backtrack on his statement, Asia Cup could end up as a five-nation tournament without Pakistan. An ACC official dismissed Ashraf’s statement.

During his media interaction, Ashraf said that he doesn’t like the idea of inconsequential games being held in their country when they have got hosting rights.

“All the main matches are happening outside (of Pakistan). (Teams like) Nepal and Bhutan are going to play in Pakistan – which is not fair for Pakistan. I do not know what the board has decided previously, I do not have the access to the information. 

“I will check, whatever is doable in the shortest possible time, will do that for the betterment of Pakistan,” he said.

Also Read: ICC & BCCI reject Pakistan’s STUNNING request to swap World Cup venues

BCCI vs PCB once again puts question mark on Asia Cup 2023, Najam Sethi successor incoming PCB chief Zaka Ashraf rejects ACC's 'Hybrid Model'

“The Asia Cup model has been accepted by ACC and there would be no change. Ashraf is free to say whatever he wants,” the ACC board member told PTI.

Ashraf is one of the two nominees for the PCB chairman’s post handpicked by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who is the patron-in-chief of the board and the man who has the final say in appointment. As of now, Ashraf’s appointment is just a formality.

What is the Hybrid model?

With BCCI rejecting any chance for Pakistan to host the entire tournament, after many back and forth, the Indian board finally accepted the hybrid model. BCCI boss Jay Shah, who is also the ACC President, declared that Pakistan will host first four games involving Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan before moving to Sri Lanka. India would play all their games including the mega clash against Pakistan. Sri Lanka will also host the final.

BCCI made it clear that India won’t travel to Pakistan due to the prevailing geo-political situation.

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