A debate over the fate of the Asia Cup 2023 has been going on for months, with Pakistan and India standing in two different boats over where the continental tournament should be held. The saga started with the Indian team refusing to travel to the Asian nation over security concerns, after which the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) proposed an alternative. Former Pakistan skipper and wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed has given his reaction on the matter.
We should not even talk about India not coming to Pakistan. We should take our stance that India should come and play in Pakistan. The way people of Pakistan have seen the likes of Steve Smith, Joe Root and James Anderson playing in Pakistan, similarly they want to see an India vs Pakistan match in Pakistan,” Sarfaraz can be heard saying in a video by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan’s attempt to host the Asia Cup has encountered numerous setbacks, with the latest being the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Monday deciding to move the Asia Cup out of the country. The Asian cricketing body reportedly rejected PCB’s proposal to host the tournament on a ‘hybrid model’ was rejected by the member nations, reported news agency PTI on Monday.
“Every team is coming to Pakistan. We should not appeal (to teams to come and play in Pakistan), it is our right that cricket comes to Pakistan. The Pakistan players and PCB has struggled a lot to bring cricket back in the nation. Our security forces, intelligence unit and army personnel have played a crucial role in bringing cricket back to Pakistan. I think India should come to play in Pakistan and every team that has come here and played should support Pakistan. The way we host teams, there would hardly be any country in the world that would match us,” he added.
The BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who also happens to be the ACC president, has always maintained that the Asia Cup should take place at a neutral venue. “We have decided we will not travel to Pakistan. We will play at a neutral venue,” he had said.
Sri Lanka has emerged as the front-runner to host the six-nation tournament as extremely humid conditions in the UAE in the month of September could lead to injuries to players, the report added.