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Pakistan will not give up hosting rights for 2023 Asia Cup: PCB

PCB chairman Najam Sethi has once again reiterated that giving up the right to host the 2023 Asia Cup simply isn’t on the table, putting an end to any such rumors.

Since India decided against traveling to Pakistan late last year, there’s been uncertainty around Pakistan’s role as host for the eagerly-awaited event.

To address this issue, PCB proposed a hybrid model at a recent Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting. Sethi, who also serves as the acting PCB head, pointed out that losing the hosting rights would lead to major financial losses for the cricket board, making it an unacceptable option.

During an interview to a local news channel, Sethi laid out the plan to use a hybrid model for hosting the Asia Cup. If India opts not to play in Pakistan, a neutral venue would be provided.

“Losing hosting rights would be a huge financial loss for PCB and was “not an option,” Sethi said.

The hybrid model, which was presented at the ACC meeting, ensures that Pakistan and India would compete against each other at least twice. These matches alone generate over half of the event’s revenue. Sethi also noted that the extra budget had been calculated and presented to the ACC.

Sethi welcomed India to play in Pakistan but was also open to a neutral venue if that’s what they preferred. He was firm in his stance that hosting the event is the only way forward; otherwise, Pakistan would not participate.

He went on to say that the PCB had already prepared a schedule based on the hybrid model, presented it at the ACC meeting, and made all the necessary logistical arrangements. Now, all they need is the final go-ahead.

Still, the Asia Cup deadlock continues as India is not keen on traveling to Pakistan due to political differences.

Last year, former PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja reacted strongly to comments made by Indian cricket board secretary and ACC President Jay Shah, who said India “can’t” send a team to Pakistan and proposed moving the Asia Cup to a neutral venue. Raja’s response caught Pakistan off guard, and he cautioned that such a move could “split” the international cricket community.

Since taking the reins in December, Sethi has been working diligently to find a solution for the Asia Cup situation. The Asian event, featuring a 50-over format, is scheduled for September this year.

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