Jay Shah, in an informal gathering of reporters, stated that “India will play the Asia Cup 2023 at a neutral venue,” making it clear that the Men in Blue will not be traveling to Pakistan for the tournament.

“The Asia Cup 2023 will be held at a neutral venue,” Shah told reporters following BCCI’s 91st Annual General Meeting in Mumbai. “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.”

After Jay Shah commented on Asia Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board has requested Asian Cricket Council to call an emergency meeting, PTI reported.

They also issued a statement that stated, “The PCB has noted with surprise and disappointment of yesterday’s comments made by the ACC President Mr. Jay Shah with regards to shifting of next year’s Asia Cup to a neutral venue. The comments were made without any discussion or consultation with the Board of the Asian Cricket Council or the Pakistan Cricket Board (event host) and without any thoughts towards their long-term consequences and implications.”

It further added,” After having presided over the ACC meeting during which Pakistan was awarded the ACC Asia Cup with overwhelming support and response from the ACC Board Members, Mr. Shah’s statement of shifting of the ACC Asia Cup has clearly been made unilaterally. This is contrary to the philosophy and spirit for which the Asian Cricket Council was formed in September 1983 – a united Asian cricket body to safeguard the interests of the its Members and organise, develop, and promote the game of cricket in Asia.

The last time India toured Pakistan was back in 2008 and Pakistan’s last series in India happened in 2012-13. They only play against each other in ICC events and the Asia cup. 

“The overall impact of such statements have the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities and can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle.

“The PCB has to date not received any official communication or clarification from the ACC on the statement of the ACC President. As such, the PCB has now requested the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible to discuss this important and sensitive matter.”

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By Dipak

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