Ehsan Mani, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, has said that the Asia Cup could be postponed till 2023 if India qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final that is scheduled to be played at Lord’s from June 18 to 22. While New Zealand have already sealed a position in the final, one of India and Australia will qualify to play the ultimate game at Lord’s.
While the qualification scenario will depend on the outcome of the fourth Test between India and England, Mani has stated that “the way things look most probably the Asia Cup will be postponed until 2023”. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) aspires to hold the Asia Cup in the month of June this year.
“Asia Cup was set to go last year but it got postponed to this year. Right now, it looks like Asia Cup won’t be going ahead this year as the WTC finals are set to go ahead in June. Sri Lanka had said that they would try to host the tournament in June. The dates are clashing. We think the tournament would not be going ahead, and we might have to push the tournament to 2023,” Mani told reporters in Karachi during a press conference
Meanwhile, Mani has also spoken to the ICC and the governing council has assured that PCB will receive written assurances for visa from the BCCI by next month. The visa assurances will not only be for all its players, but also officials, fans and journalists for the upcoming T20 Cup World Cup in India this year.
“I have informed the board that the BCCI was supposed to give us visa assurances by 31st December but that didn’t happen because their President, Sourav Ganguly was twice hospitalised. But I have now again taken up this matter with the ICC and am in touch with them. I also have another virtual conference with them tomorrow on this issue. The ICC has told us that we will get our written confirmation by the end of next month.” The PCB chief said it was their right to demand this assurance and no one can keep Pakistan out of the World Cup,” Mani added.
“Either we will be going to the World T20 with full protocols or it will have to be moved elsewhere,” he said while insisting that the PCB wanted written assurances that India will issue visas for Pakistan team, fans and journalists.
“There is also the problem of tax exemption to the ICC for the event and the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The ICC has already in a contingency planning decided the World T20 can also be moved to UAE if need arose,” he said.