Zaka Ashraf desired to host the complete Asia Cup in Pakistan, but this wasn’t feasible due to political tensions between India and Pakistan. The ongoing dispute between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) persists.
In the latest development, the Zaka Ashraf-led PCB has requested compensation from the ACC due to the low attendance in the Sri Lanka portion of the 2023 Asia Cup.
It’s worth noting that Pakistan had initially aimed to host the entire tournament, but BCCI secretary and ACC chief Jay Shah clearly stated that the Indian team would not travel to Pakistan.
Zaka Ashraf desired to have the entire Asia Cup hosted within Pakistan
Recently, Shah also explained that concerns from broadcasters and other stakeholders deterred Pakistan from hosting the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka segment of the tournament has witnessed notably low attendance, with many empty seats observed during the India vs. Nepal match in Pallekele.
Consequently, the PCB has expressed disappointment and attributed the situation to the ACC’s decision to change the venue at the last minute without notifying other ACC members.
Ashraf mentioned a meeting with BCCI and SLC representatives after India played Nepal. Initially, they considered moving from Colombo to Hambantota, but ACC changed the plan without consulting others.
“In the meeting, it was agreed that since the forecast is that Hambantota would remain dry the matches in Colombo should be moved there,” Ashraf has written in the letter.
He has also expressed his frustration regarding how Pakistan was marginalized and overlooked during crucial decisions regarding the tournament and its venues. In contrast, Pakistan’s performance on the field has been outstanding.
Under the leadership of Babar Azam, they secured a seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first Super Four match of the Asia Cup and are set to face their arch-rivals, India, next.
The fast bowlers are currently in exceptional form, with Haris Rauf taking four wickets and Naseem Shah claiming three against Bangladesh. With the bat, Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan displayed exceptional skills to secure the win in Lahore.