Home Cricket News BCCI Representative Candidly Addresses Najam Sethi’s Asia Cup Criticism, Revealing Insights About The PCB Leadership

BCCI Representative Candidly Addresses Najam Sethi’s Asia Cup Criticism, Revealing Insights About The PCB Leadership

BCCI Representative Candidly Addresses Najam Sethi’s Asia Cup Criticism, Revealing Insights About The PCB Leadership

Former PCB chairman Najam Sethi expressed concerns about the Asia Cup’s co-hosting with Sri Lanka due to adverse weather conditions in Pallekele. Throughout the group stages of the 2023 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, the matches were constantly under the threat of rain.

The much-anticipated India vs. Pakistan clash in the Asia Cup was affected by persistent rain, resulting in only one innings being played. Consequently, the match ended with both teams earning a shared point.

India’s final group game in Pallekele was also affected by rain, but a revised target was set, and they managed to secure a result in a shortened game. All three matches played in Sri Lanka thus far have experienced rain interruptions, leading to criticism of the Asian Cricket Council for choosing Sri Lanka as the tournament’s host.

Najam Sethi, the ex-PCB chair, had objections to Sri Lanka hosting the Asia Cup

Following the India-Pakistan match abandonment, Najam Sethi, who temporarily held the position of PCB chairman after Ramiz Raja’s removal last year, expressed criticism towards the Asian Cricket Council for the scheduling of the continental tournament.

Initially, the Asia Cup was planned to be held entirely in Pakistan, but due to concerns from the BCCI about travelling to Pakistan, Sri Lanka was selected as a co-host, resulting in significant delays in the tournament’s dates.

Following the match abandonment, Sethi took to social media platform X and revealed that he had proposed the United Arab Emirates as the venue for the prestigious continental tournament. However, his suggestion was rejected, with concerns raised about the hot weather conditions in the Gulf country.

“How disappointing! Rain mars the greatest contest in cricket. But this was forecast. As PCB Chair, I urged the ACC to play in UAE but poor excuses were made to accommodate Sri Lanka. Too hot in Dubai, they said. But it was as hot when the Asia Cup was played there last time in Sep 2022 or when IPL was played there in April 2014 and Sep 2020. Politics over sport. Unforgivable!” Sethi had written.

The post quickly gained widespread attention on the social media platform, and on Tuesday, ACC President Jay Shah released an official statement clarifying why the tournament wasn’t hosted in the UAE.

Shah pointed to two main reasons for this decision: teams’ unwillingness to play ODIs in the intense heat of the UAE and the abrupt leadership changes within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“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,” Shah said, as quoted by PTI.

“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.”

“All the full members, media rights holder, and in-stadia 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,” Shah said.

‘Alterations within the PCB.’

Shah clarified that the delay in announcing the Asia Cup schedule was a result of numerous shifts in leadership within the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“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,” Shah added.

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