The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah reacted to former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) President Najam Sethi’s recent remarks on the Asia Cup 2023 schedule, stating that ACC decided to host Asia Cup matches in Sri Lanka, despite the rains, due to other teams’ reluctance to play ODIs in the UAE heat.
Shah defended the move after Sethi’s comment suggesting the Asia Cup in UAE rather than Sri Lanka which is currently experiencing heavy rain.
Shah in his statement said, “In my capacity as ACC President, I was committed to finding a viable and mutually agreeable solution. To this end, I accepted the hybrid model that was proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in collaboration with the ACC management.”
“However, it’s important to note that the leadership of the PCB underwent several changes, and this resulted in some back-and-forth negotiations, particularly regarding crucial aspects such as tax exemption and insurance for matches,” he added.
The ACC got slammed by the fans and many former players after the thrilling encounter between India and Pakistan got washed out due to rain on Saturday, September 2.
Shah also emphasised on dynamics of the tournament and players’ health as the primary concern amid UAE’s scorching heat.
“The Asia Cup 2022 edition was played in the UAE in the T20 format. It’s important to emphasise that the dynamics of a T20 tournament cannot be directly compared to those of a 100-over One-day format. In this context, ACC members received feedback from their respective high-performance teams, expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in September,” stated Shah.
Such a schedule could have potentially led to player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, particularly right before the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup.” added Shah.
The speculation has been around for the last few days stating the Super 4 games to be shifted to Hambantota after the Sri Lankan capital experienced heavy rains.