India can play archrivals Pakistan and other teams at a venue outside of Pakistan during the Asia Cup. This is according to a proposal of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the hosts of the tournament. PCB came up with the proposal during last week’s Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Dubai.
ACC president Jay Shah, also the BCCI secretary, was present at the meeting while Arun Dhumal, the IPL chairman, represented India. However, no decision has been taken yet about the venues for the India games. The BCCI had made it clear after last year’s Annual General Body Meeting that the Indian team will not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup because the central government would not give clearance.
If India reaches the final, the game will also have to be held outside of Pakistan
“The proposal to play India games at a neutral venue (outside Pakistan) has been proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board. They haven’t informed the BCCI about which the neutral venue will be. The ACC hasn’t taken any decision on it. It will be discussed during the next meeting. There are logistics and financial implications too. At the same time we don’t know whether the official broadcaster will agree to this move because they will need another crew in another country,” an official, who attended the meeting, said.
Also, it is unclear if the teams, other than Pakistan, will be open to playing India at another venue.
Once the BCCI decided that the Indian team would not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, the then PCB chairman, former cricketer Ramiz Raja, said that if that was the case, Pakistan would not travel for the 50-over World Cup to be held in India later this year.
Before travelling for the ACC meeting, current chairman Najam Sethi said seems to strike a more conciliatory tone, “It’s important to see how other members (of ACC) look at our stance on Asia Cup.
What they think is important, but in the end, we must realise how much clout the BCCI with its financial power carries in world cricket.”
PCB’s proposal is aimed at finding a middle path, where the matches not involving India will be played in Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have been grouped together for the Asia Cup and could play each other up to three times during the tournament.