PCB breaks silence on ACC's massive Asia Cup call: 'Decision can impact Pakistan's visit to India for World Cup 2023'
A day after ACC president Jay Shah made the call, the Pakistan Cricket Board has drafted an official statement, stating that the board is surprised and disappointed with the development and informed that the decision was taken without any consultation with the PCB.
The Asian Cricket Council's decision to take away the Asia Cup 2023 hosting rights from Pakistan was expectedly met with a lot of criticism across the border with former cricketers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi expressing their displeasure with the call. A day after ACC president Jay Shah made the call, the Pakistan Cricket Board has drafted an official statement, stating that the board is surprised and disappointed with the development and informed that the decision was taken without any consultation with the PCB.
"The PCB has noted with surprise and disappointment of yesterday's comments made by the ACC President Mr. Jay Shah with regards to shifting of next year's Asia Cup to a neutral venue. The comments were made without any discussion or consultation with the Board of the Asian Cricket Council or the Pakistan Cricket Board (event host) and without any thoughts towards their long-term consequences and implications," it said in a release.
"After having presided over the ACC meeting during which Pakistan was awarded the ACC Asia Cup with an overwhelming support and response from the ACC Board Members, Mr. Shah's statement of shifting of the ACC Asia Cup has clearly been made unilaterally. This is contrary to the philosophy and spirit for which the Asian Cricket Council was formed in September 1983 – a united Asian cricket body to safeguard the interests of the its members and organise, develop, and promote the game of cricket in Asia."
With reports emerging yesterday that Pakistan could threaten to pull out of the 50-over World Cup which will be hosted in India next year, the PCB did in fact mention that it is indeed a possibility. With Pakistan scheduled to host the Champions Trophy in 2025 and India having the hosting rights to next year's World Cup, the T20 World Cup in 2026, Champions Trophy in 2029 and the 50-over World Cup in 2031.
"The overall impact of such statements have the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities, and can impact Pakistan's visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle," the released added.
The release also stated that the PCB has written to the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible on this important and sensitive matter.
"The PCB has to date not received any official communication or clarification from the ACC on the statement of the ACC President. As such, the PCB has now requested the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible to discuss this important and sensitive matter."
After the infamous Lahore attack in 2009, Pakistan was banned from hosting international cricket for a decade. However, after the suspension was lifted, several teams have toured the country and played out successful series. Australia toured Pakistan for a three-Test series last year and recently England participated in a full-blown limited-over series across different venues. At the same time though, last year in September, New Zealand pulled out of Pakistan tour due to 'security reasons' minutes before the start of the first match in Rawalpindi, a decision that led to England abandoning their scheduled tour of the country, which eventually took place recently.