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PCB wants Under-19 Asia Cup to be shifted out of India

The tournament is scheduled to be held in Bangalore in November this year.


Najam Sethi PCB India Pakistan cricket

Najam Sethi revealed that the PCB will push for their demand at the AGM of the Asian Cricket Council

What's the story?

In a move which could further deteriorate the hostile relationship between the BCCI and the PCB, Pakistan has publically expressed its wish that they want the Under-19 Asia Cup scheduled to be held in Bangalore in November this year to be shifted out of India.

The PCB is set to table a resolution during the upcoming development and annual general meetings of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on August 11 and 12.

With Pakistan's Shaharyar Khan, being the current president of the ACC, the PCB is hopeful of influencing the decision in their favour.

"Since Pakistan is current chair of ACC, we will discuss this matter on August 12 in Colombo," Najam Sethi, head of the PCB's executive committee, told ESPNcricinfo. "There are secure neutral venues outside India and Pakistan where the championship can be held."

The background

The political tension prevailing between the Asian neighbours has meant that Pakistan and India have not played a bilateral series, in any format, since a three-match ODI series in India in 2012-13.

They have however met eight times since with the latest meeting coming at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy where Pakistan defeated India in the final after losing to their arch-rivals in the group fixture.

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The details

Only one of those eight meetings has been played in India with the 2016 World T20 group match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata being played under tight security after it was in danger of being called off at one point of time.

The BCCI and the PCB have been involved in a bitter dispute off the field with the latter seeking INR 1 billion in compensation from their Indian counterparts for failing to honour a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2014, agreeing to play five bilateral series against each other over the next eight years.

With the situation at the borders showing no signs of improvement, India has refused to revive bilateral ties with Pakistan and the PCB is seeking to hit back and after the compensation claim, now wants the Under-19 Asia Cup to be moved out of India as well.

An unnamed PCB official was quoted as claiming that he feels the Pakistan team could feel visa issues prior to the tournament along with other off-field issues as well and wants the tournament to be moved to a neutral venue so that the team's preparation goes ahead unhindered.

What's next?

Another issue which is likely to be hotly discussed at the development and annual general meetings of the ACC is regarding the Western Region qualifying round for the Under-19 Asia Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Kuwait in October.

Given that Qatar is one of the nine competitors along with Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain - three countries which have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar recently - a decision needs to be taken on how best to tackle the crisis.

Author's take

The PCB are going all out in their fight against the BCCI but with little time left for the Under-19 Asia Cup, it is hard to see their wish to get the tournament shifted out of India becoming a reality.

But with Pakistan at the helm of affairs in the ACC, you can always expect the unexpected but let's hope that good sense prevails and the tournament goes ahead as scheduled.

Also read: India's tour of South Africa to get underway on January 3

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