Asia Cup 2023: PCB’s likely chief rejects Asia Cup’s hybrid model, ACC issues THIS response

Days after the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) confirmed a hybrid model of conducting the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) likely chairperson Zaka Ashraf on 21 June dropped a bombshell expressing his reservations.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, Ashraf — leading the race to become the next president of PCB — has openly rejected the hybrid model approved by the ACC.

Pakistan will host a multi-nation cricket tournament at home for the first time post-2008. As the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) clarified that Team India would avoid traveling to Pakistan, the Asia Cup 2023’s co-hosts have been confirmed as Sri Lanka by ACC.

Following the Asian Cricket Council president Jay Shah’s assertion that Team India will only play Pakistan at a neutral venue, the hybrid model of the Asia Cup was accepted.

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“The first point is that I had rejected the hybrid model (for Asia Cup) in the past itself – because I do not agree with it. The board of the Asian Cricket Council had decided that it should be held in Pakistan, then we should host it,” Ashraf shared his views in a press conference on Wednesday.

It is expected that if Ashraf is appointed as PCB chief, the Pakistani cricket board and the BCCI will be on a collision course.

Apart from this, Ashraf’s statement can also jeopardize Pakistan’s participation at the 2023 World Cup scheduled to take place in India.

“The Asia Cup model has been accepted by ACC and there would be no change. Ashraf is free to say whatever he wants,” PTI quoted ab ACC board member as saying.

As per details, Ashraf is among the two nominees for PCB’s top post and was earlier handpicked by Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

“All the main matches are happening outside (of Pakistan). (Teams like) Nepal and Bhutan are going to play in Pakistan – which is not fair for Pakistan. I do not know what the board has decided previously, I do not have access to the information. I will check, whatever is doable in the shortest possible time, will do that for the betterment of Pakistan,” he said.

Challenges ahead:

It is to be known that Ashraf was the PCB chairperson when India last played Pakistan for a bilateral series back in 2012. Considering his opinions on BCCI and ICC’s take on turning down the PCB’s request to have a change of venue in a few games, the road may not be smooth for a relationship.

“There are challenges lined up ahead for Pakistan, there are many pending issues, the Asia Cup is there, then the World Cup, the team’s preparations, a lot of issues. I do not want to speak against anyone because I have not (yet) taken over. Once I take over, will see what the scenario is. I always take media along, I do not hide anything. We have to work for the betterment of Pakistan, we have a clear conscience,” Ashraf added.

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Updated: 22 Jun 2023, 03:56 PM IST

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