Asia Cup: Hybrid model approved by ACC; Sri Lanka chosen as neutral venue
The upcoming Asia Cup in 2023 is set to be held from August 31 to September 17, jointly hosted by Sri Lanka and Pakistan. This edition of the tournament will introduce a hybrid model, marking the first time such a format is implemented in the history of the championship.
Six teams, namely India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal, will be participating in the Asia Cup. While four matches are scheduled to take place in Pakistan, nine matches will be held in Sri Lanka.
Before their highly anticipated clash in the ICC World Cup 2023, arch-rivals India and Pakistan will renew their legendary rivalry in the forthcoming edition of the Asia Cup. The final match of the tournament will be held on September 17, showcasing the pinnacle of the continental cup.
The Asian Cricket Council has officially announced that a total of 13 One Day International (ODI) matches will be played among India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal during the Asia Cup. Pakistan will host four matches, while Sri Lanka, a former champion, will serve as the host for nine matches in this prestigious event.
The introduction of the hybrid model was necessitated by the concerns raised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding touring Pakistan for the Asia Cup. Previously, the hosting rights for the prestigious continental tournament were awarded solely to former champions Pakistan.
As per earlier reports, it was revealed that the Indian cricket board had agreed to permit Lahore as the venue for four matches in the first round of the tournament, excluding matches involving India. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, who also holds the position of ACC Chairman, made it explicitly clear that due to security concerns, India would not be undertaking a tour to Pakistan.
The approval of the Asia Cup’s schedule also implies that Pakistan will be making a visit to India for the ICC ODI World Cup scheduled for October-November 2023.
In expressing his satisfaction with the adoption of the Hybrid Model, Najam Sethi, the Chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), stated, “I am thrilled that our proposal for the ACC Asia Cup 2023 Hybrid Model has been accepted. This ensures that the PCB will continue to host the event, organizing matches in Pakistan while designating Sri Lanka as the neutral venue, as necessitated by the Indian cricket team’s inability to tour Pakistan.