Shortly after Sourav Ganguly revealed that the Asia Cup T20 will not take place this year, tournament host Pakistan Cricket Board has also confirmed that it has agreed to stage the event in 2022.
Pakistan, having the hosting rights for the Asian Cricket Council six-nation meet, had to originally organise the tournament in the UAE. The neutral venue was opted to ensure participation of the Indian team, which won’t have got mandatory permissions due to Government of India’s policy of not sending sports teams to or playing bilateral games with Pakistan.
There has been a lot of speculation about the Asia Cup being moved Sri Lanka in wake of COVID-19 pandemic. PCB was initially also reluctant to defer the Asia Cup as the Board of Control for Cricket in India would benefit from a larger window to organise the Indian Premier League 2020. The BCCI is aiming to stage the IPL 2020 between September last week and early November in the slot expected to be created by now an inevitable deferment of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
The PCB has confirmed on Wednesday that they have agreed to host the event in 2022 and Sri Lanka is now expected to host it next year following the cancelation of this year’s edition.
PCB chief Ehsan Mani said the decision was made due to the worsening pandemic. “The Asian Cricket Council is looking at organising it next year. It is too dangerous to host it this year We had swapped the event with Sri Lanka this year because it is one of the least affected (in South Asia) from the virus,” he told news agency PTI.
Mani said there was no politics behind the postponement and the decision was taken purely on safety grounds. “We were originally going to host it but when I looked at the COVID situation in UAE and Pakistan and other South Asia countries, the only country which was ahead of the cycle was Sri Lanka and most likely to conduct the event.
“So Sri Lanka Cricket and PCB discussed it, we put the swap proposal to the ACC and it was approved by the board. There was no politics, it was just for sake of preserving cricket and nothing else.”