PCB chief Ehsan Mani on Friday said that India supported the awarding of 2020 Asia Cup’s hosting rights to Pakistan at the recent Asian Cricket Council meeting in Singapore. “India supported our bid but the venues will be decided later. Our preference is to have the matches in Pakistan if the Indian government gives permission to the Indian board to send its team to Pakistan for the tournament. If not, UAE is the second option,” Mani told the media in Lahore. Next year’s Asia Cup is scheduled for September before the World T20 in Australia.
India had hosted the last Asia Cup in UAE last year after Pakistan refused to travel across the border. Mani said Pakistan was trying to bring back international cricket to the country and its first priority would be to have matches in Pakistan. “But it will depend on whether the Indian team is cleared to tour the country.” The Asian Emerging Nations Cup was held in Karachi and Dubai earlier this year with India playing all their matches in UAE while Pakistan played their group games in Karachi and later travelled to UAE for the final round.
Mani also made it clear that despite the continued suspension of bilateral cricket between Pakistan and India, the relations between the two boards remained cordial. “Both boards have no issues with each other and we have cordial relations. But our policy on the resumption of bilateral ties with India is now clear…that is…we will not request them again to play with us,” Mani, a former President of the International Cricket Council, said.
“The Indian board will now take the first step if they want to resume bilateral cricket series. Hopefully, since the elections are now over in India and the government has been formed the political climate will change and allow the resumption of ties,” he added.