Asia Cup 2023: Former India Pacer Calls India-Pakistan Reserve Day ‘Mockery Of Event’

The ex-international cricketer termed the decision as “absolute shamelessness” from the organisers

Babar Azam (R) shakes hands with Rohit Sharma after their abandoned clash in Pallekele

Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad, a vocal social media critic of several decisions made by the Indian team management and the cricket board, has came out hard at the move to allot a reserve day exclusively for the India-Pakistan Super 4 match, and termed it absolute "shamelessness" from the organisers.

"If true this is absolute shamelessness this. The organisers have made a mockery and it is unethical to have a tournament with rules being different for the other two teams.

"In the name of justice, will only be fair if it is abandoned the first day, may it rain harder on the second day and these malicious plans not succeed," Prasad posted on X (formerly Twitter).

In an advisory, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had on Friday stated that a reserve day was incorporated for the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4’s match between Pakistan and India.

"If adverse weather suspends play during the Pakistan vs India game, the match will continue on 11th September 2023 from the point it was suspended," the statement had added.

"If adverse weather suspends play during the Pakistan vs India game, the match will continue on 11th September 2023 from the point it was suspended.

"In such an eventuality, ticket-holders are advised to hold on to their match tickets which will remain valid and will be utilised for the reserve day," the advisory stated.

Meanwhile, contradicting their own team’s head coach, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has termed ACC's Indo-Pak reserve day decision as "unanimous" and taken only after getting consent from all four cricket boards.

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha had expressed his displeasure with the move on Friday and termed it "not ideal". Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood too had expressed his surprise on the eve of their Super 4 clash.

But hours after their coach's comments, BCB made a surprising announcement saying that the precautionary measure had, in fact, received unanimous approval from all four participating teams in the Super 4 stage.

"A reserve day for India Pakistan contest in Super 11 Asia Cup Super 4 stage has been added that effectively revised the Asia Cup playing condition," BCB posted on their social media account 'X', formerly twitter.

"To clarify on the position, the decision was taken with the consent of all four participating teams and ACC," it added.

ACC had on Friday announced that the much-anticipated Indo-Pak clash could resume on Monday if the rain plays spoilsport on Sunday.

However, the other matches will not have a reserve day, though rain is predicted in the Sri Lankan capital through the Super 4s.

But Hathurusingha was clearly miffed at the late decision to add a reserve day.

"It is not ideal, and we also would have liked to have an extra day. But I don’t have any more comment on this because they have already made a decision and had they consulted us earlier we would have given our opinion," he said on Friday at pre-match presser.

"Little surprised when I first heard,” Sri Lanka coach Silverwood had said about ACC’s decision to have different playing conditions.

The 'Rain God' had its say when the two teams initially clashed in the Asia Cup, resulting in a washout in their opening fixture at Pallekele on September 2.

Rain once again made an appearance during India's first international match against Nepal at the same venue.

However, this time, the showers were less persistent, permitting a 23-over chase, which India successfully navigated to secure Super Four berth.

(With PTI inputs)