The BCCI will not support Najam Sethi’s proposed hybrid model of hosting the Asia Cup wherein four preliminary round and two super four games will be held in Pakistan with India’s matches and the final taking place in a neutral country.It is understood that the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chairman Jay Shah, who is also the secretary of the BCCI, during an informal discussion with some of the continental body’s members in Ahmedabad has made the Indian board’s stand clear.
For a tournament to happen at a neutral venue, the all-powerful executive body of the ACC needs to take the final call, and therein lies the problem. “Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have already told the PCB that they have no issues playing their games in Pakistan. But India is not keen on supporting the hybrid model. Now, the impasse hasn’t been broken and the final decision will only be taken at ACC executive board meeting that Jay (Shah) will have to summon,” an ACC board member said.
The ACC executive body has 25 members — 5 Test-playing nations (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan), 3 with ODI and T20I status and 17 more with only T20 status. Could the issue of hybrid model be put to vote? “There has to be a middle of the road solution as you can’t put this hybrid model to vote. I mean if there are six nations playing the event, what is the locus standi of the 19 other nations who won’t play the tournament?
On what basis will they vote when they have no stake?” the ACC member said. The hybrid model does have a logistical issue. What Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi has told the ACC is that having the Asia Cup in two countries means double mileage for broadcasters but the BCCI feels that it will be a logistical nightmare considering the UAE might not be the neutral venue. In fact, the PCB has already told the ACC that they would expect at least 0.5 million USD from gate receipts of the two Indo-Pak matches if they are held in Sri Lanka, as the capacity of Galle or Premadasa Stadium isn’t as much as Dubai.