Ever since Jay Shah acknowledged that the men in blue will not travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023, the situation has been tense on both sides. Former PCB Chief Ramiz Raja had threatened to pull out from the ODI World Cup that India is to host next year. However, before taking a call the new chief Najaf Sethi decided to go ahead and have a discussion with ACC about the Asia Cup 2023 venue. Australia’s visit to Pakistan in 2021 gave others confidence that it was safe to travel there but the Indo-Pak relations are way more complicated.

The men in green were hopeful that the Asian Cricket Council meeting in Bahrain would reach some conclusion. Nonetheless, the meeting was an absolute failure. Now, a decision on the new venue for Asia Cup will likely be in March. In the upcoming meeting, the PCB is probably going to maintain its position. The Pakistani administration may decide if they will send their squad to India for the 2023 World Cup depending on the conclusion of the session in March.

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UAE front-runner to host Asia Cup 2023 

Asia Cup 2023: Tournament Likely to Shift From Pakistan, New Venue Expected in March
Babar Azam and Virat Kohli

A statement from ACC reads, “The ACC had a constructive dialogue on the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. The Board agreed to continue discussions on operations, timelines, and any other specifics with a view to ensure the success of the tournament. An update on the matter would be taken on the next ACC Executive Board Meeting to be held in March 2023.”

If the decision to go ahead with a neutral venue for Asia Cup 2023 gets a nod, UAE might be the one hosting the multinational tournament. UAE has enough expertise in hosting multinational tournaments and caters well to the needs. After the covid outbreak in India and the crisis in Sri Lanka, UAE hosted the 2021 T20 World Cup and Asia Cup last year. Speaking on the issue, a senior BCCI official said, “With India deciding against travelling to Pakistan, the tournament will have to be shifted. A tournament without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shubman Gill will have the sponsors back out.”

The reports of blasts in Quetta during the PSL exhibition match in Quetta have made the case difficult for Pakistan. It’ll now be a tough task for the PCB to convince ACC and ICC about the safety of players during the Asia Cup 2023. However, India hasn’t engaged in a standalone series with its arch nemesis after Pakistan’s final visit to India in 2012–13. Moreover India’s last visit to Pakistan was in 2008.

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