Former Pakistan player backs Asia Cup moving out of Pakistan
Former Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq opted the pragmatic route for once and said it wouldn't be the worst of moves if India had their wish for the Asia Cup 2023 to not be played in Pakistan. Razzaq said it would be "good for cricket" if the ACC finds another venue for the regional event.
The BCCI and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are part of another tussle when it comes to the Asia Cup hosting rights, which lie with Pakistan. While the PCB regime, having made desperate efforts to revive the game within their territory, want the Asia Cup to stay in Pakistan, BCCI have expressed stern concerns about travelling to the neighbouring land.
India haven't played any cricket in Pakistan since the 2008 edition of the Asia Cup before the bilateral relations between the two countries broke due to cross-border tension and terrorism. They haven't clashed in any bilateral series since 2012 with the great rivalry confined mainly to multi-team events, including the Asia Cup.
No formal decision was made at the recent ACC meeting where the call on Asia Cup hosts was delayed for March, but it is highly likely that the tournament will be taken out of Pakistan and held at a neutral venue considering the Indian participation dictates the competition's financial strength. If India opt out, the Asia Cup could be cancelled entirely, leading to a scenario where ACC and its member nations, including the associates, stare at hefty losses.
Razzaq says take Asia Cup out of Pakistan
Recognising the reality of the situation at hands, Razzaq said it would be wise of PCB to be okay playing the Asia Cup at a separate venue. Previously, too, one of Pakistan and India have allowed the Asia Cup to be held neutrally while retaining the hosting rights, which pertains to financial gains.
"It’s good for cricket. And for cricket promotion. India-Pakistan games only happen in ICC tournaments. If Asia Cup has been shifted to Dubai, then it’s best option. It’s good for cricket and cricketers," Razzaq told Pakistan-based Geo News.
Of PCB's counter-argument that they may refuse to travel to India for the World Cup 2023 in October-November, Razzaq said it can't work like that and both the boards should discuss their problems and try to resolve them via necessary dialogue.
"It doesn’t happen like this. This has been on for years. If the two boards sit across table and chat, it would be great. Both boards should solve this issue," he added.
The PCB can't revoke their World Cup participation even if they want since it would be an ICC matter. Any decision to exclude the Pakistan team from the quadrennial event, would leave the PCB liable to receive hefty fines, a potential cut on the ICC funding or even a ban on Pakistan's full-membership.