Pakistan were awarded the next Asia Cup but the teams are expected to play at a neutral venue with concerns over security. India’s participation is in doubt due to a breakdown in diplomatic ties with their neighbours.
The Asian Cricket Council, in its meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, awarded the continental meet to be held in T20 format, to Pakistan, which will most likely organise the tournament in the neutral venues of the United Arab Emirates, the team’s ‘home’ since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus.
The tournament will be held in September ahead of the World T20 in Australia. Tensions with neighbours Pakistan forced India to host the last Asia Cup in the UAE.
“Pakistan told the delegates at the ACC meeting held in Singapore that they would host the Asia Cup at home but a final decision on the venue would be taken after consultation with other members of the ACC and keeping in mind the prevailing security and political situation around that time in Pakistan,” a PCB official said.
He said if conditions were not conducive to have the Asia Cup in Pakistan, the PCB would host it at a neutral venue. “Last year the Board of Control for Cricket in India hosted the Asia Cup in UAE because of the political tensions between Pakistan and India,” the source added.
A senior BCCI official told PTI: “The decision to play in Pakistan will be completely be the government’s call. The Board will follow whatever decision the centre takes. We believe that just like we hosted the tournament last year in the UAE, Pakistan should also ideally organise it at a neutral venue.”
At the ACC meeting, the PCB representatives also insisted that Sri Lanka send its team to Pakistan to play the two ICC Test Championship matches in Lahore and Karachi in September this year. It was also decided that the sport would return to the next Asian Games in T20 format and the ACC would provide technical support to the Olympic Council of Asia.