India won’t travel to Pakistan for Asian Cup and won’t play at a neutral venue
The 2023 Asian Cup will likely be held in Pakistan, but India will play their matches at a neutral venue. After a brief stalemate, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are working quickly to broker a compromise that could see the two teams play their tournament matches against each other in outside Pakistan. India are likely to play their Asian Cup 2023 matches in England, Oman, Sri Lanka or the United Arab Emirates.
“A meeting between the Boards had been held a few days ago and the tournament can be held in Pakistan. India will play its matches at a neutral venue and will not travel to Pakistan, the venues where India could play its matches are probably Oman, UAE, England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, although the decision will be made later,” a source told ANI.
The foreign venue is yet to be determined, although the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sri Lanka and possibly England are viable candidates to host India’s matches, including at least two matches between India and the Pakistan. The neutral venue is unconfirmed, but the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sri Lanka and even England are potential suitors. If India book their place in the Asian Cup final, the summit clash will take place at a neutral venue.
The six-nation Asian Cup, which will be played in a 50 plus format in the first part of September this year, brought together India and Pakistan with one qualifier. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are in the other group.
The final will be one of 13 total matches that will take place over 13 days. The top two teams from each group go to the Super 4, where the top two teams meet in the final, according to the 2022 Asian Cup format.
After the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Bahrain in mid-March ended without a resolution, members converged for two more rounds of informal talks in Dubai.
The BCCI team included Arun Dhumal, the head of the IPL board, and BCCI secretary Jay Shah. The PCB, which will host the 2023 Asian Cup, was represented by its president Najam Sethi.
Last October, the PCB was caught off guard by Jay Shah, who said the 2023 Asian Cup would be held at a “neutral” venue. The PCB, under then-president Ramiz Raja, quickly responded that Pakistan would withdraw from the competition if taken outside the country.
The proposal to co-host the Asian Cup by a neutral country was presented and discussed at the official ACC meeting.
Last year, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chairman Jay Shah said India would not travel to Pakistan for the Asian Cup for security reasons and the tournament would be played in a neutral venue, to be decided in the second round of the ACC Members’ Board Meeting this month.
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