Ashraf, who seems destined to become the new head of the PCB, wants the event to return to Pakistan as the sole host.
The future of the 2023 Asian Cup edition of cricket looks shaky once again after Zaka Ashraf, who seems destined to become the next Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, said he does not approve of the hybrid model. which will be used for this year’s edition. calling it “injustice”.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) agreed to Pakistan’s proposal for a hybrid version of the Asian Cup after India refused to tour due to strained relations between the two South Asian countries.
As per the plan, Pakistan will host four games and the remaining nine will be played in Sri Lanka.
However, speaking to the media in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Wednesday, Ashraf said he had “rejected the hybrid model (for the Asian Cup) in the past because I don’t agree with it.”
He highlighted the fact that “only minor teams like Nepal will play in Pakistan”, while “important matches” will be played in Sri Lanka.
“The entire event (the Asian Cup) should take place in Pakistan,” he said.
“I don’t know what decision the previous management made as I don’t have access to information about it. I will go and see and try to do what is best for Pakistan in the shortest possible time.”
Hybrid format amid boycott fears
Pakistan is the official host of the tournament, which will take place from August 31 to September 17 this year, but opted for a hybrid format after India refused to play in the country due to strained relations.
India and Pakistan are bitter political rivals, and the nuclear-armed nations have fought three wars since gaining independence from British rule in 1947.
The two countries have not played a bilateral series against each other on home soil since 2012, meeting in international tournaments on neutral grounds.
The PCB had threatened to boycott the World Cup, which will be held in India in October and November this year if India refuses to play in Pakistan.
The hybrid format was approved by PCB’s interim management committee under its boss Najam Sethi, also a former PCB president.
However, Sethi will not be a candidate for the post of president, with Ashraf being one of two nominations presented to the board of governors.
Pakistan, India and Nepal are located in Group A, and Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are in Group B.
The best two teams from each go to the Super Four, with the best two playing in the final, which will be played in Sri Lanka.
An ACC member, in response to Ashraf’s comments, said: “The Asian Cup model has been accepted by the ACC and there will be no changes. Ashraf is free to say whatever he wants.”