Asia Cup 2020 will go ahead in Sri Lanka or UAE: PCB

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The Asia Cup will go ahead as scheduled later this year in either Sri Lanka or the UAE, Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan has asserted.

Khan rejected speculation that the event could be scrapped to make space for the currently suspended Indian Premier League.

“The Asia Cup will go ahead. The Pakistan team returns from England on 2nd September so we can have the tournament in September or October,” he said on Wednesday.

“There are some things which will only get clear in the due course of time. We are hopeful of having the Asia Cup because Sri Lanka has not had too many cases of the Coronavirus. If they can’t do it, then UAE is also ready,” he added.

Khan said Pakistan, the original host of the event, had agreed to let Sri Lanka conduct it in return for hosting the next regional event.

He also confirmed that the Pakistan board is working on options to play cricket in the window for the T20 World Cup if it doesn’t go ahead as planned in October-November.

“We are to go to New Zealand in December after hosting Zimbabwe at home. South Africa are ready to tour in January-February to play two or three Tests and some T20 matches,” he disclosed.

Controversy over the hosting nation

After the ACC meeting on June 8, the SLC had claimed that the Asia Cup 2020 would be played in Sri Lanka, adding that that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have mutually agreed to swap the hosting rights for this edition. However, the BCCI on Monday (June 15) expressed their surprise and anger over the SLC claim. The BCCI raised a very strong objection over the SLC claim and has cleared that no decision has been taken regarding the fate of the tournament.

“We have no idea where such reports are coming from and we are surprised how fast these reports travel. The BCCI is clear that no decision was taken at the ACC meeting. The Board (BCCI) is tired of giving out these clarifications. Earlier it was about travelling to Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka and BCCI had to deny it with an official statement and now this” an official told Times Of India (TOI) yesterday.

Later, SLC rubbished BCCI claim.

“BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah both were present at the ACC video conference meeting and they are aware about the development. The BCCI official, who has given a statement to Indian Media, seems to be not aware of the matter” a top SLC administrator had told Cricket Age.

The two reasons behind the exchange of hosting years are the present relations between India and Pakistan are not very good and secondly, the coronavirus pandemic is under control in the Island nation.

Sri Lanka has not hosted an Asia Cup since 2010 and will look to grab the opportunity to attract the home crowd. India is the defending champion of the tournament.

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N Krishnamurthy