As confirmed by Indian Cricket Board Secretary Jay Shaha, India will not travel to Pakistan to participate in the Asia Cup 2023. This has raised many questions about where the tournament will be held next. The news broke on the day of the Indian Cricket Board’s annual general meeting in Mumbai.
Jay Shah, the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), suggested that next year’s Asia Cup be played at a different venue. He also stated that neither India nor Pakistan can visit the other.
“The Asia Cup 2023 will be held at a neutral venue. I am saying this as ACC President. We [India] can’t go there [to Pakistan], they can’t come here. In the past also, Asia Cup has been played at a neutral venue,” Shah told media after the AGM. When Shah spoke to the media, the new Indian Cricket Board office bearers were also present: president Roger Binny, treasurer Ashish Shelar, and Rajiv Shukla, who was re-elected as board vice-president.
The ACC has yet to meet to discuss the matter, let alone make an official decision. This has raised questions within the PCB about Shah’s role in the matter and why he chose to speak at a BCCI AGM. A PCB spokesperson stated that the board would not comment on the matter at this time, but a strong response is not out of the question. There is already discussion within the board about leaving the ACC. The PCB is expected to respond to the comments in writing to the ACC.
Effect of Shah’s comments on other tournaments
Shah’s remarks may also have implications for Apex Cricket Board’s events, two of which will be held in India and Pakistan in the coming years. Following the Asia Cup, India will host the 2023 ODI World Cup, and Pakistan will host the 2025 Champions Trophy. It remains to be seen how it affects those tournaments. Meanwhile, India is all set to play Pakistan in the 20-20 World Cup 2022 on the 23rd of October.