Jay Shah explains why UAE is not hosting the tournament

Jayshah, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president and BCCI general secretary, has hit back at former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chair Najam Sethi over his comments that the decision to host Asia Cup 2023 matches in Sri Lanka was politically motivated.

Pakistan are the original hosts of Asia Cup 2023 and while all the matches were expected to take place in the country, nine out of 13 games are being hosted in Sri Lanka after India refused to travel to Pakistan.

With the possibility of PCB losing the hosting rights, Sethi had proposed the hybrid model.

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However, after India vs Pakistan game in the Asia Cup was washed out due to rain, Sethi tweeted that he had proposed UAE as the second nation after Pakistan to host Asia Cup matches but the suggestion was not accepted by ACC.

In a separate tweet, Sethi said that Jay Shah is solely responsible for rain playing spoilspot in Asia Cup matches in Sri Lanka.

Shah has now released a statement explaining why the decision to host matches in Sri Lanka was taken. He also added that “all the full members” were against the idea of hosting the entire Asia Cup in 2023.

Shah explained that Asia Cup 2022 which took place in UAE was in T20 format while the ongoing competition is an ODI contest and the teams did not want to play 50-over matches in UAE.

“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 in his 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 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.

“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.”

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