The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani said that the Asia Cup 2021, scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka, will be postponed if India qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final. (More Cricket News)
"Asia Cup was set to go last year but it got postponed to this year. Right now, it looks like Asia Cup won't be going ahead this year as the WTC finals are set to go ahead in June. Sri Lanka had said that they would try to host the tournament in June," Mani told reporters in Karachi during a press conference.
The World Test Championship final is slated at Lord's from June 18-22. India need at least a draw in the fourth and final Test against England in the ongoing four-Test series to set up a clash with New Zealand.
"The dates are clashing. We think the tournament would not be going ahead, and we might have to push the tournament to 2023," he added.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan also said that it looks like India will reach the finals of the WTC, so the Asia Cup needs to be postponed.
"It looks like India has reached the finals and they will clash against New Zealand. This is why the Asia Cup set to be played in Sri Lanka won't go ahead. We are waiting for confirmation but if it does not go ahead, we are planning for the future," said Khan during a virtual press conference.
Pakistan was to initially host the Asia Cup but surrendered it to Sri Lanka after problems over India not being able to tour Pakistan for the tournament.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) then postponed the Asia Cup, earlier scheduled for September 2020, until June 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Mani also said the ICC has assured them it will get a written assurance from the BCCI by next month that all its players, officials, fans and journalists will be issued visas for the World T20 Cup to be held in India.
"I have informed the board that the BCCI was supposed to give us visa assurances by 31st December but that didn't happen because their President, Saurav Ganguly was twice hospitalised," he added.
"But I have now again taken up this matter with the ICC and am in touch with them. I also have another virtual conference with them tomorrow on this issue. The ICC has told us that we will get our written confirmation by the end of next month."
The PCB chief said it was their right to demand this assurance and no one can keep Pakistan out of the World Cup.
"Either we will be going to the World T20 with full protocols or it will have to be moved elsewhere," he said while insisting that the PCB wanted written assurances that India will issue visas for Pakistan team, fans and journalists.
To a question about whether the World T20 could be shifted to a neutral venue at this late stage, Mani said granting visas for Pakistani nationals was not the only issue confronting the Indian board.
"There is also the problem of tax exemption to the ICC for the event and the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The ICC has already in a contingency planning decided the World T20 can also be moved to UAE if need arose," he said.
Mani also made it clear that Pakistan had no problems with the World T20 being held in India but just wanted to be absolutely sure that there are no problems with issuance of visas for its team, officials, fans and journalists closer to the tournament.
(With agency inputs)
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