BCCI secretary Jay Shah said the final decision on hosting the 2023 Asian Cup will be made on the sidelines of the IPL final, which is expected to be attended by a host of high-ranking officials from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). Representatives from the councils of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were present, but Bangladesh Cricket Board chairman Nazmul Hassan was unable to attend due to personal commitments. No conclusions were reached during the discussion.
The Indian Council invited the heads of all major cricketing nations to witness the IPL final between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad. Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are known to have supported the Indian council’s stance against the hybrid model – where the tournament will be played in two countries as India refuses to travel to Pakistan to play matches – and believe that such a schedule will have a negative impact on the players. Television companies are also not interested in a hybrid model.
Despite the lack of a decision, the Indian board will again discuss a neutral venue for the match, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will also be invited for further discussion. The chairman of the ACC is Shah, and it has become known that the responsibility for resolving this complex issue lies with the chairman of Oman Cricket Pankaj Khimji, who is also the vice president of the ACC. The Indian Council has no objection to playing in Sri Lanka since PCB is the host of the tournament. However, the BCCI believes that playing cricket in the UAE, which is the preferred neutral venue for the tournament, is not possible in September because of the extreme temperatures.
Bilateral cricket has fallen victim to the tense political relations between India and Pakistan over the past decade and a half, and the neighboring countries now only play each other in multi-team competitions at neutral venues. The Indian Council, citing security concerns, declined to travel to Pakistan for the Asian Cup in September, prompting the PCB to suggest that India play its matches in the United Arab Emirates under a so-called hybrid model.
Such an agreement could have serious implications for the 50-peat World Cup in India later this year, as well as for the 2025 Champions Trophy to be held in Pakistan.