A final decision on the country -- or countries -- hosting the Asia Cup will be taken on the sidelines of the IPL final, which will be attended by a host of top Asian Cricket Council (ACC) dignitaries, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said on Thursday. (More Cricket News)
"As of now, the decision with regards to hosting of Asia Cup hasn't yet been finalised. We are busy with IPL but the top dignitaries of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Bangladesh and Afghanistan Cricket Board are coming to watch the IPL final. We will have a discussion and take a final decision in due course," Jay Shah told PTI.
The host for this year's Asia Cup is Pakistan, but with the Indian cricket team not travelling to the neighbouring country without the Central government's permission, PCB chairman Najam Sethi had proposed a 'Hybrid Model' where four games are supposed to be hosted in their country.
It has been learnt from ACC sources that Sethi's proposed hybrid model that Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan play four preliminary matches in Pakistan with India playing all its games at neutral venues, looks like a feasible solution although ACC had made no formal statements.
The two India-Pakistan games will also be held in Sri Lanka although the PCB wants them in Dubai.
"ACC head Jay Shah will summon an executive body meeting where a formal announcement will take place. The PCB doesn't mind playing India at a neutral venue. While they would prefer Dubai because it would lead to more gate receipts, it is open to playing in another country (read Sri Lanka) provided the ACC matches the gate receipts amount (USD 0.5 million) that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) received in 2022 from the Indo-Pak games in Dubai," an ACC source privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
While PCB maintains that playing the World Cup in India is subject to government clearance and is a matter to be treated in isolation from Asia Cup hosting rights, it is a foregone conclusion that neither the BCCI nor ICC nor the host broadcasters will be agreeable to an India-Pakistan World Cup match taking place in Bangladesh.
The window for the Asia Cup this year is between September 1-17.
FORMAT AND OTHER MODALITIES
The six teams in the Asia Cup are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal.
One group will have India, Pakistan and Nepal while the other group will comprise Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
According to ACC sources, if the 'hybrid model' goes ahead, then Pakistan would like to host the following four games in their country.
These games are Pakistan vs Nepal, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan and Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka.
As per the format, the top two teams from each group will constitute Super Fours where they again play against each other. After the Super Four round robin phase, the top two teams will play the final.
The Super Fours will ensure that at least two Indo-Pak encounters are guaranteed, which is profitable for the host nation, broadcaster as well as ACC.
If India and Pakistan qualify for the summit clash, then it will be three matches between the arch-rivals.
"Sethi has said that in preliminary round, Pakistan is only playing Nepal. His proposal is to make it six games with two Super four non-India matches, involving Pakistan to be played in Pakistan," the ACC source added.
As far as final is concerned, even if India doesn't qualify, the ACC will conduct it at a designated neutral country -- Sri Lanka or UAE.