Bangladesh is likely to host the upcoming Asia Cup, with the official announcement from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) expected to be made towards the end of March.
Last year, ACC had named Pakistan as the host for the Asia Cup 2020 scheduled for September ahead of the World T20 Championship.
Several reports have now surfaced claiming that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given up the hosting rights of the Asia Cup in exchange for Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) allowing its team to tour Pakistan.
Following the alleged agreement between PCB and BCB, the latter announced to tour Pakistan in three parts.
The first two legs of the series have already been played at Lahore and Rawalpindi in January and February respectively. The part of the series will be played after the conclusion of the Pakistan Super League in Karachi in April.
Chairman PCB, while addressing a news briefing last week, hinted at moving the Asia Cup:
The upcoming Asia Cup will have to be hosted at a neutral venue.
Apparently, India’s reluctance to tour Pakistan under any circumstances appears to be the reason behind the recent statements by the PCB Chief.
Recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President, Sourav Ganguly, said:
The Asia Cup will be played in Dubai instead of Pakistan. India will not participate in Asia Cup if it is held in Pakistan.
Responding to Ganguly’s claims, PCB Chief said:
Till now, Pakistan is still the host of the Asia Cup 2020. PCB does not care about the statements made by the BCCI.
On the other hand, the recent statement of BCB Chief, Nazmul Hassan, who also happens to be the President of ACC, suggest that the event is likely to be played in Bangladesh:
Convincing BCCI to send the Indian team to play Asia Cup in Bangladesh will not be a problem for BCB.
However, the alleged deal between the two boards seems to be the underlying reason for moving the Asia Cup to Bangladesh.
Whether it is India or Bangladesh that has influenced PCB, giving up hosting rights of an international event will weaken the PCB’s claims to host high-profile events.