CHENNAI: Even as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani asserts that the 2020 Asia Cup will be held in the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reiterates that a decision to feature in the event will rest with the Indian government. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Tuesday reaffirmed its decision to award the 2020 Asia Cup to Pakistan in a meeting held in Singapore.
“The decision to host the 2020 Asia Cup in Pakistan was taken unanimously at the last meeting. The ACC meeting on Tuesday reconfirmed the decision to award the event to Pakistan,” Mani told this daily on Wednesday. “Our intention is to hold (all) the events in Pakistan,” added Mani when questioned over the possibility of shifting the tournament to a neutral venue given India’s concerns.
The tournament will be held in September next year ahead of the World T20 scheduled in Australia. It is expected to be played in T20 format. The former president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) also claimed that the BCCI was fully cooperative as far as allotment of the event to Pakistan was concerned.
However, a BCCI official termed the issue sensitive and stated that the decision to play in the tournament will be taken by the government. “The hosting rights are awarded on a rotation basis. It was India’s turn to host the previous edition. Given the prevailing situation at that time, the BCCI shifted the tournament to the United Arab Emirates. It’s always the responsibility of the host country to ensure smooth conduct of the tournament and participation of all countries,” said the official. India defeated Bangladesh by three wickets in the final to lift the 2018 title. “A final call will be made ahead of the tournament. As has been the procedure in the past, the BCCI will write to the government seeking its permission. If the government gives us a go-ahead, India will play, otherwise not,” added the official.
Earlier, the Committee of Administrators (CoA), in the wake of Pulwama terror attacks in February this year, had written a letter to the ICC asking it to sever ties with nations from where terrorism emanates. The ICC though rejected the request. The Asia Cup in Pakistan might again open a Pandora’s box with the two Asian cricketing powerhouses at loggerheads.