The BCCI decided against sending the team beyond the border in September because of the oppressive heat in the Gulf. The 2023 Asia Cup is expected to be held in Sri Lanka as the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) plans to move the tournament there from Pakistan. The idea to shift the event from the initial host country has long been in the works, especially after BCCI secretary Jay Shah said that the Indian squad would not cross the border.
Despite the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) persistent interest in hosting the tournament at home and the BCCI’s support from other ACC members, the decision now seems to be a formality. The PCB has proposed a hybrid strategy to host the Asia Cup, in which just the matches involving India would be held in Dubai. The BCCI had declined to go to Pakistan for the event because of a lack of official authorization, therefore this was done in reaction.
The venue of the competition will be decided by the end of the month, and Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are all in favor of the island nation as the host. Pakistan’s participation in the tournament is currently unknown due to allegations that it may boycott it.
But no one has shown any interest in that idea, and the tournament broadcaster has also expressed reservations about it. Since September was the height of summer in the United Arab Emirates, the other boards were cautious about playing in the Gulf a month before the 50-over World Cup.
Though the conditions were rather challenging for the participants, the 2018 Asia Cup was staged in Dubai in September. The UAE has been entirely disqualified because Hardik Pandya suffered a back injury during that tournament, intended to serve as a warm-up for the World Cup, which will begin in the first week of October. Even those games, played in the second half of the summer, were challenging for players to manage.
Pakistan’s participation is uncertain
Since teams are hesitant to risk players in extreme weather and Sri Lanka Cricket has shown interest in hosting the tournament, the ACC is anticipated to make a final decision in the coming weeks. If Sri Lanka is awarded the chance to host the event, Dambulla and Pallekele may be the venues considering that the monsoon season often comes in Colombo around September.
It’s still unclear how it will impact the upcoming World Cup in the big picture. According to sources from that country, if the Asia Cup is moved from Pakistan, the PCB won’t be able to compete. Their participation in the World Cup, set to be staged by India in October-November, would also be in question if they decide to boycott that event.
Sri Lanka won the 2022 Asia Cup; although it took place before the Australia T20 World Cup, it was played in the T20 format. The tournament rotates between 20-over- and 50-over formats depending on the next ICC event. The format will be 50 over this time. India defeated Bangladesh in the competition’s previous 50-over final, which was played in Dubai.
The Asia Cup will have six teams if Pakistan intends to participate. The ACC Premier Cup champion Nepal qualified for the tournament with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.