The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) have given Pakistan the right to host the next edition of Asia Cup in a meeting in Singapore, on Tuesday. However, given the security issue in Pakistan and their prevailing tension with India, they might be forced to host the 2020 in the neutral venues of United Arab Emirates (UAE) with India yet to confirm their participation in the tournament.
UAE have been the Pakistani cricket team’s home, since the 2009 terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus, with all their major International home fixtures played there. Though Pakistan earned the rights to host the tournament, the final decision on the venue would be taken later after consulting with the other members of ACC. When contacted, 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.”
“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 Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) source said was quoted as saying by PTI. The source further added that owing to the diplomatic tension between India and Pakista, BCCI had to host the last edition of Asia Cup in UAE as the Pakistani players could not play in India.
In the ACC meeting, the PCB officials also insisted that Sri Lanka should its team to Pakistan to play the two ICC Test Championship matches in Lahore and Karachi in September this year. Interestingly, Sri Lanka have already played an International series in the country in 2017 after Zimbabwe became the first team to visit Pakistan in 2015 and play International cricket for the first time since 2009. Last year, West Indies also played an International series there.
The 2020 edition of Asia Cup will be held in September that year, ahead of the World T20.
(With inputs from PTI)