The Asia Cup 2023 is likely to be partly played in Pakistan, but matches of the Indian team are to be shifted to an overseas venue, reports have suggested. Both the BCCI and PCB have decided to end their stand-off and move towards a resolution that could have both teams playing their tournament matches against each other outside Pakistan.
At the six-nation Asia Cup, which will be played in a 50-over format in the first part of September this year, India and Pakistan have been placed in the same group as a qualifier. The other group includes Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
The final will be one of a total of 13 games spread across 13 days. The top two teams from each group move on to the Super 4s in accordance with the 2022 Asia Cup's structure, and the top two teams then play in the championship match.
India and Pakistan might still play each other three times, in case both make it into the final.
While the overseas venue is still not confirmed, the options on the table are UAE, Oman, Sri Lanka, and even England to host five India matches including at least two India-Pakistan encounters.
As per a report by ESPNCricinfo, a small working group has been formed with the brief of creating a schedule and travel plan agreeable to all participating countries as well as the broadcaster before a final call is taken.
There are various factors that might play a role in determining the venue for the Indian team matches.
Early September temperatures in the UAE typically hover around the 40-degree range, but that hasn't stopped cricket from being played there: the 2021 IPL was held there in late September, but Pakistan has played international matches there in the early part of the month.
The city of Oman, Muscat, continues to experience cooler temperatures and did host the opening round of the 2021 T20 World Cup. Although the possibility of large crowds in a city like London is sure to be tempting, the option for England remains ambitious.
The PCB, which has the hosting rights for the 2023 edition of Asia Cup, was represented by its chairman Najam Sethi while the BCCI team comprised its secretary Jay Shah, and Arun Dhumal, the IPL governing council chairman.
Jay Shah, the secretary of BCCI and ACC chief, in October last year, had said that the Indian team will not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup leading to this. The PCB, then under Ramiz Raja - Sethi's predecessor - immediately responded that Pakistan would pull out of the tournament altogether if it was taken out of the country.
PCB also threatened to pull out of the World Cup 2023, which is to be hosted by India in October-November.
The option of the tournament being split between two nations, including Pakistan, surfaced after informal negotiations after a deadlock became all too evident, and it was eventually presented and considered at the official ACC meeting.
It is believed that both the PCB and the BCCI were receptive to such a concept, provided that the specifics and logistics could be worked out to everyone's satisfaction.