The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed two venues for the upcoming Asia Cup’s hybrid model, according to sources quoted by Geo News. The Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, will host four matches in the first stage of the tournament, while the rest of the competition will take place at the Dubai International Stadium. The cricket governing body is confident that more tickets can be sold in Dubai compared to Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refuses to send its team to Pakistan, insisting that the event should take place at a neutral venue.
It should be noted that the PCB is against hosting the tournament outside Pakistan since it would undermine its efforts to restore international cricket in the country. In an effort to resolve the deadlock, the PCB presented a hybrid model with two options. Under the first option, India would play its matches at a neutral venue, while all other matches would be held in Pakistan. Under the second option, four matches of the group stage would take place in Pakistan, while the second stage, including India’s matches and the final, would be played at a neutral venue.
During the National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) meeting, the Chairman of the PCB Management Committee, Najam Sethi, called for a constructive approach to resolve the impasse. He believes that if India refuses to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, then the Pakistani government might not allow the Pakistani team to go to India for the ODI World Cup. Sethi added that “there should be a middle way to solve problems that surely threaten the smooth hosting of ICC and ACC events.”