The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is facing intense backlash from cricket enthusiasts and former players after the country's name was noticeably missing from the official Asia Cup logo on participating teams' jerseys.
Pakistan is official host of the Asia Cup 2023 tournament, but Sri Lanka will also be a venue for the matches after India had refused to travel to the neighboring nation.
Now Pakistan is hosting 4 matches including one Super 4s game, while Sri Lanka will host the remainder of encounters including all India matches and the final on September 17.
Pakistan, along with India and Nepal are in Group A, while Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan are placed in Group B.
When Pakistan and other teams unveiled their jerseys for the continental tournament, fans noticed that there was no 'Pakistan 2023' under the Asia Cup logo on the right side of the jersey. As per norms, the host nation’s name used to be written beneath the tournament logo.
However, the jerseys this time only sport the official Asia Cup logo near the right shoulder without the host country's name under it.
This position stands in stark contrast to the one from the previous year when Sri Lanka served as the original hosts despite the Asia Cup taking place in the United Arab Emirates. In that edition, Sri Lanka was mentioned beneath the Asia Cup logo on the jerseys of all competing nations.
Now this has led to a huge controversy as former Pakistani players have lambasted the PCB for this oversight. Former captain Rashid Latif expressed his dissatisfaction, highlighting that the Asia Cup was jointly organized by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with Pakistan serving as the host nation for the tournament.
"This is unacceptable, and it is the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) that must explain this lapse since the Asia Cup is under their purview," Latif declared.
On the other hand, Mohsin Khan urged the Asian Cricket Council to clarify the confusion surrounding this issue. "The ACC should provide a clear explanation for this discrepancy," he asserted.
The PCB has thus far tried to downplay the situation by attributing the omission to a decision by the ACC following the previous year's Asia Cup.
Another unnamed Pakistani player mentioned that Jay Shah, who is the BCCI secretary and ACC president, might have played a role in it as due to the tense relations between India and Pakistan, the Men in Blue side members might have felt discomfort wearing Pakistan’s name on the jerseys.
Rashid Latif did not dismiss this possibility, emphasizing that the incident was not only embarrassing but also required further clarification.
"Given the current scenario between the two countries, perhaps the BCCI official felt it would be embarrassing for the Indian team players to wear kits with the name of Pakistan on the official Asia Cup logo," he said.