Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is determined to host the Asia Cup this year and is engaged in a battle with both the BCCI and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) to retain the hosting rights. The PCB, led by chief Najam Sethi, is now threatening to boycott their two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in July as a response to the rejection of their proposed hybrid model for the Asia Cup 2023.
The PCB had suggested a hybrid model for the tournament, with India’s matches to be played in the UAE due to the BCCI’s unwillingness to travel to Pakistan. However, both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have reportedly turned down this proposal, citing concerns over extreme summer conditions in the UAE during September.
The PCB is determined not to risk losing the hosting rights for the Asia Cup, as it is a significant event for them to showcase their strength and security ahead of hosting the Champions Trophy in 2025. A non-participation from India or a complete cancellation of the tournament would weaken their position to host future multi-nation tournaments.
In response to Sri Lanka’s refusal of the hybrid model, the PCB has threatened to boycott the Test series against Sri Lanka. This move could have serious financial implications for SLC, which is still recovering from an economic crisis. However, if the Asia Cup is moved to Sri Lanka, it could provide an opportunity for them to benefit.
As of now, no final decision has been made regarding the fate of the Asia Cup. India has made it clear that they will not participate if the tournament is held in Pakistan. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also unwilling to send their teams to the UAE. The PCB has stated that they will boycott both the Asia Cup and the World Cup if the Asia Cup is moved out of Pakistan. Sri Lanka has emerged as a potential alternative host for the Asia Cup, excluding Pakistan.
The situation remains uncertain, and further discussions and negotiations are expected to determine the fate and venue of the Asia Cup 2023.