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The final decision regarding the Asia Cup 2023 is expected to be made during the Indian Premier League (IPL) final on May 28, as reported by the Indian media. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it clear that they will not send their team to Pakistan for the tournament and prefer a neutral venue.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who is also the president of the Asian Cricket Council, stated, “The respective presidents of the Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka Cricket Boards will grace the IPL 2023 final… We will hold discussions with them for outlining the future course of action in relation to Asia Cup 2023.”
The BCCI is in favor of holding the entire tournament in Sri Lanka, rather than accepting the hybrid model proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The ACC had initially given approval to Najam Sethi’s hybrid model, which would have seen Pakistan host a few matches while India played at a neutral venue.
A source from the ACC confirmed that the organization has accepted the hybrid model proposed by the PCB without any additional conditions. The decision is expected to be officially announced by the ACC in the coming weeks. Under Sethi’s model, India’s matches would be played on a neutral venue, determined through mutual coordination among ACC member countries.
Financial considerations will play a significant role in the selection of a neutral venue. If Sri Lanka is chosen as the neutral venue, Pakistan would seek a fair compensation for hosting Pakistan-India matches, no less than what the BCCI earned from hosting the 2022 Asia Cup matches between the two countries. The estimated amount is over half a million dollars.
“If the ACC assures that amount, the PCB will have no hesitation even to agree with Sri Lanka as a neutral venue for the rest of the matches,” the source explained.
The final decision on the Asia Cup venue is eagerly anticipated, with stakeholders from various cricket boards set to discuss the matter during the IPL final. The BCCI’s refusal to send their team to Pakistan and their preference for a neutral venue have been key factors in the ongoing discussions. Ultimately, the financial aspect and mutual agreement among ACC member countries will play a crucial role in determining the fate of the Asia Cup 2023.
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