Earlier this month, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced that the Men's ODI Asia Cup 2023 will take place in September and India-Pakistan would be in the same group along with a Qualifying team.
However, there’s still uncertainty over the venue of Asia Cup 2023. Pakistan have the hosting rights but BCCI secretary Jay Shah last year said that India will not travel and the event would be shifted to a neutral venue.
In response, then PCB chief Ramiz Raja had said that alteration to the Asia Cup might see them opt out of the 50-over World Cup in India later this year.
Meanwhile, PCB’s newly-appointed chairman Najam Sethi on Monday (January 23) confirmed that the ACC has accepted PCB’s request to hold an executive board meeting on February 4 in Bahrain to discuss this year’s Asia Cup and India’s participation in the competition.
“It is a major development that the ACC board will meet on 4th February in Bahrain and matters relating to the Asia Cup will be discussed,” Sethi told media in Lahore.
“There will also be a ICC meeting in March and I don’t want to go public with what negotiations I had with ACC members in Dubai or what I plan to do, argue or discuss at the coming meetings. But yes definitely India and Pakistan cricket relations are important,” he added.
In October 2022, PCB had issued a statement, threatening to withdraw from the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 in India.
"The PCB has noted with surprise and disappointment of yesterday's comments made by the ACC President Mr. Jay Shah with regards to shifting of next year's Asia Cup to a neutral venue. The comments were made without any discussion or consultation with the Board of the Asian Cricket Council or the Pakistan Cricket Board (event host) and without any thoughts towards their long-term consequences and implications," PCB had said in a release.
“The overall impact of such statements have the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities and can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle,” it added.
According to Sethi, cricket matters between India and Pakistan need some clarity so that ACC and ICC events are not affected going forward.
“Hosting the Asia Cup this year is very important and India sending its team is a big issue because it will obviously have repercussions on the Champions Trophy being held in Pakistan in 2025,” the current PCB chief stated.
(With PTI Inputs)