The ongoing hostility between Pakistan and India took an unexpected turn when the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) approved Najam Sethi’s innovative approach to hosting the Asia Cup in September, as reported by sources on Thursday.
Najam Sethi, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee, proposed a ground breaking hybrid model to the ACC. Under this plan, Pakistan will host four to six matches of the Asia Cup, while India will play its matches at a neutral venue that also accommodates other matches.
According to a source within the ACC in India, it has been confirmed that the Asian body has accepted Najam Sethi’s hybrid model proposal without imposing any additional conditions. The acceptance of the model does not include any conditions regarding Pakistan’s participation in the October World Cup, as that still depends on the approval of the Pakistani government.
The source stated, ‘The ACC has agreed in principle to Najam Sethi’s hybrid model proposal for hosting the Asia Cup, which was allotted to Pakistan. As per this hybrid model, Pakistan will host four to six matches at a venue within Pakistan, which will be determined later, while India will play its matches at a neutral venue.’
‘The official announcement of the decision by the ACC is anticipated in the coming weeks. Under Sethi’s model, India’s matches will take place at a neutral venue, to be determined through mutual coordination among ACC member countries. How-ever, in the process of selecting a neutral venue, financial considerations will be given high priority.’
The source further elaborated that if, for example, India or any other ACC member country suggests Sri Lanka as a neutral venue, Pakistan, as the host country, will have the right to ensure a fair distribution of Pakistan-India matches, with the possibility of hosting two or three of them.
‘These cannot be less than what the India Board has made of hosting the two nations’ 2022 Asia Cup games. Over $500,000 is thought to have been ex-changed throughout the two nations’ matches.’
The insider verified, saying, ‘If the ACC assures that amount, the PCB will have no hesitation even to agree with Sri Lanka as a neutral venue for the re-maining matches.’
‘In the coming days, it’s anticipated that all the boards will receive the eagerly awaited response from the ACC,’ revealed the source.—Agencies