PCB presents hybrid model to end Asia Cup stalemate

PCB is insisting on hosting the Asia Cup in September or it will withdraw in case attempts were made to deprive the country of hosting rights

March 24, 2023
A representational image of Pakistan Cricket Board building. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proposed a hybrid model for the ACC Asia Cup this September to end the deadlock with the ACC over India’s participation in the 50-over competition in Pakistan. However, the PCB has also reiterated its earlier stance that if the hybrid mode is not acceptable to the ACC and if any suggestions to relocate the event are made, then the PCB will withdraw from the competition.

The News has learnt from a well-placed source privy to a series of meetings held over the past few days in the UAE that the PCB is insisting on hosting the Asia Cup in September or it will withdraw in case attempts were made to deprive the country of hosting rights.

“The PCB is very clear on the Asia Cup. It is Pakistan’s right to host the Cup and if any attempts are made to take the event away, Pakistan will not take part in any such exercise. However, to safeguard the interest of the competition and participating countries, the PCB has proposed a hybrid model in which some India matches are scheduled offshore. The PCB’s proposal, submitted by Chairman Najam Sethi, will be reviewed by the ACC, which will revert with comments,” a source confirmed.

The PCB’s options were discussed during the formal and informal meetings held between the ACC member countries to settle the impasse. In the end, it was suggested that Najam Sethi’s hybrid model would be considered seriously by the ACC members to resolve the lingering issue that has already endangered the existence of the continent cricket family.

“The ACC will provide their feedback to the PCB suggestion, following which further decisions will be made. However, if the proposal resubmitted by the ACC is not in the interest of Pakistan cricket, then the PCB will have no option but to withdraw from the event. For the PCB, only an event schedule that protects the genuine rights of the country’s cricket will be acceptable.”

Though the source was not ready to reveal the hybrid model details, The News has learned such an offer will only be acceptable to the PCB if it guarantees to protect the financial rights and genuine earnings from the Asia Cup. If India is adamant to play their matches on a neutral venue, the PCB will not be in a position to bear any extra liabilities, which in that case would be too heavy.

India and Pakistan have been placed in the same group of the Asia Cup and chances are that the two arch-rivals may go on to play three times against each other (pool match, super four and the final).

The ACC is expected to provide its feedback to the PCB on the hybrid model within the next few weeks for consideration and approval.