- Tournament to be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- Schedule announced with 13 exciting ODI matches.
- India’s opposition and BCCI’s stubbornness cause controversy.
The impasse surrounding the hosting of the Asia Cup 2023 came to an end as the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) finally accepted the hybrid model put forth by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday. Despite facing strong opposition from India, the tournament will now be held in a hybrid format, with four matches scheduled to take place in Pakistan and the remaining nine matches in Sri Lanka.
The ACC’s decision to embrace the PCB’s model marks a significant breakthrough, bringing much-needed clarity to the tournament’s organization. Alongside the acceptance of the hybrid format, the council also unveiled the schedule for the highly anticipated event, which had been plagued by controversies stemming from the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) firm stance.
In an official statement, the ACC expressed its delight in announcing that the Asia Cup 2023 is set to take place from August 31st to September 17th, featuring the elite teams of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal. A total of 13 thrilling One Day International (ODI) matches will be contested during this period, captivating cricket fans across the region.
The Asia Cup will be organized into two groups, with two teams from each group advancing to the Super Four stage. The top two teams from the Super Four phase will then vie for the coveted title in the final match. This 50-over tournament holds even greater significance as it serves as a preparatory event for the ODI World Cup, scheduled to be held later in the year.
Group 1 of the Asia Cup will comprise Pakistan, India, and Nepal, while defending champions Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan will form Group 2. It is worth noting that the PCB proposed the hybrid model after the BCCI declined to send their team to Pakistan for the tournament, citing strained relations between the two countries. Bilateral series between India and Pakistan have been limited since 2008, with their last encounter in 2012 during a tour of India for limited-overs matches. In recent years, the arch-rivals have primarily faced each other in International Cricket Council (ICC) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) events.
By embracing the hybrid model and finalizing the schedule, the ACC has paved the way for a highly anticipated and fiercely contested Asia Cup 2023, setting the stage for thrilling cricket action between some of the best teams in the region.