Najam Sethi, the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee, recently held a meeting with ACC Vice President Pankaj Khimji in Dubai to discuss the Asia Cup’s fate. The tournament, scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan in September this year, has faced challenges due to political tensions between Pakistan and India.
In an attempt to salvage the event, Pakistan proposed a hybrid model during the Asian Cricket Council meeting. The proposal suggested that all teams, except India, would play their matches in Pakistan, while India would compete at a neutral venue.
However, India rejected this proposal and advocated for the entire tournament to be held at a neutral location.
During the meeting between Najam Sethi and Pankaj Khimji, Sethi presented further details about the hybrid model and proposed schedule modifications.
According to the revised plan, four matches would be played in Pakistan, while the remaining seven matches, including the final, would take place in the UAE.
Under this proposal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal – all teams except India – would visit Pakistan once to play their matches. Subsequently, these four teams, along with the Pakistani team, would travel to Dubai via chartered flights for the remaining games.
During the meeting, concerns were raised about the logistical feasibility of the proposed arrangement and whether broadcasters would be comfortable with the logistics of moving crews and equipment between the two countries.
In response, Sethi assured that teams would only need to travel to Pakistan once, eliminating the need for repeated back-and-forth journeys.
The discussions and proposals put forth during the meeting reflect the ongoing efforts to find a solution that would enable the Asia Cup to proceed smoothly despite the challenges posed by the strained relations between Pakistan and India.
The final decision regarding the tournament’s venue and format will be made after further deliberations and consultations between the relevant cricket boards and authorities involved.