Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally achieved a major breakthrough after their Hybrid Model for hosting the Asia Cup 2023 has been approved by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). Previously, several reports floated stating that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have denied their support for the Hybrid Model and that the entire championship will be conducted in Sri Lanka. SLC and BCB’s decision was reportedly influenced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
In a setback to the BCCI, the Asia Cup 2023 will now not be moved to an entirely new location. PCB Chief Najam Sethi has already submitted a proposal to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) regarding hosting the tournament in two locations, i.e. Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
The BCCI has been reluctant on their stance to travel to Pakistan as they failed to obtain clearance from the government. Due to their obvious concern, Pakistan has proposed the Hybrid Model that was tabled for discussion and had to be approved by all the full-member nations under ACC.
The PCB has mentioned a couple of proposals for the Hybrid Model for Asia Cup 2023 as follows:
- Proposal 1: Pakistan will host all the games while India will play their matches at a neutral venue.
- Proposal 2: The tournament will be divided into two phases with Pakistan hosting the first set of games and India playing all their games at a neutral venue in the 2nd phase. The final will also be conducted at a neutral venue.
The PCB has suggested 10 neutral venues for the Hybrid model. They are:
Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hambantota, Colombo, Pallekele, Dhaka, Dambulla, Mirpur, London, Birmingham and Manchester.
It will now be interesting to observe India’s stance after the proposed model. While the possibility of a boycott cannot be ruled out, ACC President and BCCI Secretary Jay Shah will hold a meeting before arriving at a final conclusion in the coming two days.