International, Nepal Men

ACC likely to approve PCB’s hybrid model for Asia Cup with Sri Lanka as a neutral venue

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is likely to approve the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s proposed hybrid model for the Asia Cup. According to the model, Sri Lanka will be the neutral venue where India can play their matches. The plan suggests that four or possibly five out of the 13 tournament games will be played in Pakistan. If India reaches the final, it will also be held in Sri Lanka.

As per ESPNcricinfo, An official announcement is expected after the weekend. The tournament is currently scheduled between September 1-17, with the Pakistan leg likely to take place in Lahore.

The hybrid model was proposed as a solution because India were unwilling to travel to Pakistan. Initially, Pakistan suggested the UAE as a second venue, but Bangladesh raised concerns about extreme weather in the Middle East during September.

PCB head Najam Sethi presented the details of the hybrid model to Pankaj Khimji, head of Oman Cricket and the ACC’s vice-president, during a meeting in Dubai a few weeks ago. This proposal was put forward by PCB to retain the hosting rights since India refused to tour Pakistan due to political tensions between the two governments.

Asia Cup, which will be played in the 50-over format, serves as a preparation for the World Cup 2023 in India. Pakistan, Nepal and India are placed in Group A, while Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are in Group B.

The Asia Cup is set to feature a total of 13 matches, including the final, which will take place over a span of 13 days. Following the format introduced in 2022, it is anticipated that the two highest-ranking teams from each group will progress to the Super 4s round. From there, the top two teams will compete in the final match. If India and Pakistan both secure their spots in the final, there is a chance that they could face each other three times throughout the tournament.

Nepal qualified for the Asia Cup, being the champions of the ACC Premier Cup. Nepal defeated UAE on the reserve day of the final at TU Cricket Ground to ensure a spot in the tournament.