Inside Story

Pakistan and Sri Lanka cricket boards in financial dispute over extra expenses during Asia Cup 2023

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The cricket boards of Pakistan and Sri Lanka are in a financial dispute over the $3-4 million cost of shifting the Asia Cup to Sri Lanka last year. Due to geopolitical tensions, the BCCI declined to send its team to Pakistan, the original host. The ACC and PCB opted for a hybrid model, with Sri Lanka hosting most matches, resulting in extra expenses for flights, hotels, and venues.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) clarified during an ACC meeting in Bali that it wouldn’t bear the financial burden, being neither the official host nor earning extra. The expenses reportedly increased due to a venue change by the former PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf, from Lahore to Multan.

The PCB argues that the ACC should cover additional expenses since they decided to move Pakistan’s hosting rights. The ACC chief, Jay Shah, stated that it was the PCB that insisted on hosting four matches after the ACC board had decided to move the entire tournament to Sri Lanka.

‘When the financial dispute was discussed by the acting chairman of the PCB, Khawar Shah, and CEO Salman Naseer (in Bali), Jay Shah and the SLC were on the same page’, the source said. He said that Shah explained to the officials that since Pakistan remained the host of the event and Sri Lanka’s venue and facilities were used, SLC’s dues should be cleared by PCB.

The source added that SLC president Shammi Silva expressed concerns to the ACC about unpaid bills for hotel stays and chartered flights, with Shah advising Silva to address the PCB directly.

PCB’s CEO Salman Naseer assured Silva that some bills were in the verification process. However, the issue of expenses on chartered flights remains unresolved, with the PCB claiming they were booked through a ‘non-prequalified’ Sri Lankan company. The PCB paid an upfront amount and agreed to pay SLC for venues but now urges the ACC to share additional costs and cover the $2.5 million hosting fee.

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N Krishnamurthy