Teams expressed concerns about playing ODIs in UAE heat: Jay Shah defends Asia Cup scheduling

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah on Tuesday reacted to former PCB President Najam Sethi’s recent remarks on the Asia Cup 2023 schedule, saying that ACC decided to host Asia Cup matches in Sri Lanka due to other teams’ reluctance to play ODIs in the UAE heat.

Shah defended the move following Najam Sethi’s recent comments in which he stated that during his tenure, he suggested that the 2023 Asia Cup be held in the UAE rather than Sri Lanka, which is currently experiencing heavy rain.

“All the full members, media rights holders, and in-stadium rights holders were initially hesitant to commit to hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan. This reluctance stemmed from concerns related to the security and economic situation prevailing in the country,” Jay Shah said in a statement.

“In my capacity as ACC President, I was committed to finding a viable and mutually agreeable solution. To this end, I had accepted the hybrid model that was proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in collaboration with the ACC management. However, it’s important to note that the leadership of the PCB underwent several changes, and this resulted in some back-and-forth negotiations, particularly regarding crucial aspects such as tax exemption and insurance for matches.

The ACC has been slammed after fans were denied what could have been a thrilling finish to Saturday’s highly anticipated match between India and Pakistan at Pallekele. The second innings were rained out due to incessant rain, leaving the two teams with a point each.

“The Asia Cup 2022 edition was played in the UAE in the T20 format. It’s important to emphasize that the dynamics of a T20 tournament cannot be directly compared to those of a 100-over One-day format. In this context, ACC members received feedback from their respective high-performance teams, expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in the month of September. Such a schedule could have potentially led to player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, particularly right before the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup.

It has been speculated over the last few days that the Super 4 and final games of the tournament could be shifted to Hambantota after heavy rains lashed the Sri Lankan capital.

“The decision-making process regarding the Asia Cup 2023 format and venue was guided by a sincere desire to prioritize the well-being of the players, as well as the overarching interests of the sport. Ultimately, the goal was to strike a balance that would allow for a competitive and successful tournament while ensuring the health and readiness of the participating teams for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023,” Shah added.

Published On:

Sep 5, 2023

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