The prolonged deadlock regarding the hosting of the Asia Cup 2023 has finally come to an end with the acceptance of a hybrid model proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Thursday.
Despite facing strong opposition from India, the tournament will now be conducted using a hybrid format, with four matches scheduled to take place in Pakistan and the remaining nine matches to be held in Sri Lanka.
The ACC made the announcement of accepting the PCB’s model while also unveiling the schedule for the highly anticipated tournament, which had been marred by controversy due to the unwavering stance of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“We are pleased to announce that the Asia Cup 2023 is set to take place from 31st August to 17th September 2023. It will witness the participation of top teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal, who will compete in a total of 13 thrilling ODI matches,” stated the council in an official statement.
The Asia Cup will consist of two groups, with two teams from each group progressing to the Super Four stage. The top two teams from the Super Four stage will then battle it out in the final match.
The tournament, being a 50-over event, will serve as preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup scheduled later this year.
Group 1 of the Asia Cup will include Pakistan, India, and Nepal, while Group 2 will feature defending champions Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
It is worth noting that the hybrid model was proposed by the PCB after the BCCI declined to send their team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. Tensions between the two nations have prevented India from touring Pakistan since 2008.
The last bilateral series between the arch-rivals occurred in 2012 when Pakistan visited India for limited-overs matches. In recent years, their encounters have been limited to ICC and ACC events.