Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who also serves as the patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), expressed his congratulations to the Management Committee (MC) chief, Najam Sethi, on the approval of the hybrid model for the Asia Cup 2023. This decision comes after the BCCI’s refusal to travel to Pakistan last year due to political reasons.
In order to secure the hosting rights for the event, the PCB presented two options within the hybrid model. The first option suggested that India play their matches at a neutral venue while all other matches would be held in Pakistan.
The second option proposed that four group stage matches be played in Pakistan during the first phase, while the second phase, including matches involving the Indian team and the final, would take place at a neutral venue. On June 15, the second option of the hybrid model was approved.
Following the approval, Najam Sethi met with the Prime Minister in Islamabad, where Shehbaz Sharif praised Sethi and his team for their efforts in bringing the Asian event back to Pakistan after 15 years. The Prime Minister acknowledged the positive news for Pakistani cricket fans and highlighted the successful hosting of major teams in recent times.
In response, the Prime Minister directed the PCB chief, saying, “Try to bring more international events to Pakistan. We need to portray a good image of Pakistan in the world.” He also emphasized the importance of enhancing the country’s cricket infrastructure, stating, “There is a need to raise the standard of our cricket infrastructure. We need to build more cricket stadiums in order to host big events.”
According to the hybrid model, the Asia Cup will be hosted by Pakistan. Lahore, a potential venue within the country, will host four matches before the event moves to Sri Lanka for the remaining nine contests. The Asia Cup is scheduled to take place from August 31 to September 17.
It is worth mentioning that Pakistan is also set to host the Champions Trophy in 2025, further highlighting the country’s growing presence in international cricket hosting.
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