The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had demanded a completely neutral venue for the 2023 Asia Cup; Team India had outright refused to travel across the border for the tournament. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in response, proposed a hybrid model for the continental tournament.
In the tentative plan, India would play all of their matches outside Pakistan - including the final, if they qualified for it.
According to a report by PTI, however, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chairman and BCCI secretary Jay Shah is not keen on the hybrid model.
Representatives from Asia's premier cricketing governing bodies are currently in Ahmedabad for the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) final. Emphasizing that the final call would be taken during the ACC meeting and that the BCCI's decision was the final hurdle, an ACC board member said:
"Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have already told the PCB that they have no issues playing their games in Pakistan. But India is not keen on supporting the hybrid model. Now, the impasse hasn't been broken and the final decision will only be taken at the ACC executive board meeting that Jay (Shah) will have to summon."
Elaborating that the hybrid model would not be put to vote among the members of the ACC, the source added:
"There has to be a middle of the road solution as you can't put this hybrid model to vote. I mean if there are six nations playing the event, what is the locus standi of the 19 other nations who won't play the tournament? On what basis will they vote when they have no stake?"
Sri Lanka has been proposed as an alternative venue, along with United Arab Emirates (UAE). But the latter is far from the preferred choice given the hot weather there in September.
Pakistan's ODI World Cup participation arguably hinges on the BCCI's stance over Asia Cup 2023
The PCB has expressed its reservations over participating in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India later this year should the BCCI continue to push Pakistan off the Asia Cup radar.
The tentative schedule of the marquee 50-over event is slated to be released during the World Test Championship (WTC) final in London. But the matter surrounding Asia Cup and its hosting is far from resolved.
PCB will have to abide by the ruling made by ACC following the meeting, which will be crucial regarding the Men in Green's participation in the ODI World Cup.