Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has penned a strongly worded rebuttal against BCCI secretary Jay Shah’s claims that the next year’s Asia Cup will be moved from Pakistan to a neutral venue.

In a statement issued by the governing board of Pakistan Cricket, PCB accused Jay Shah, who happens to be the President of the Asian Cricket Council as well, of unilaterally making a decision on a complicated issue without consulting with the PCB first.

“The PCB has noted with surprise and disappointment yesterday’s comments made by the ACC President Mr Jay Shah with regards to shifting of next year’s Asia Cup to a neutral venue. The comments were made without any discussion or consultation with the Board of the Asian Cricket Council or the Pakistan Cricket Board (event host) and without any thoughts towards their long-term consequences and implications.

“After having presided over the ACC meeting during which Pakistan was awarded the ACC Asia Cup with an overwhelming support and response from the ACC Board Members, Mr Shah’s statement of shifting of the ACC Asia Cup has clearly been made unilaterally.”

Pakistan is set to host the 2023 edition of the Asia Cup and there was growing optimism that India will visit the country for the tournament. However, Jay Shah’s statement made ahead of BCCI’s annual meeting, confirmed that PCB will not be allowed to host the event in Pakistan but on a neutral venue.

“The overall impact of such statements have the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities, and can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle.” the ominous statement added.

“The PCB has to date not received any official communication from the ACC on the statement of the ACC President. As such, the PCB has written to the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible on this important and sensitive matter.”

Pakistan and India have enjoyed auspicious encounters on the cricket field in recent times and this development once again threatens those ties.

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