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Sri Lanka likely to co-host Asia Cup with Pakistan

Last updated on 11 Jun 2023 | 11:39 AM
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Sri Lanka likely to co-host Asia Cup with Pakistan

The island nation are currently front-runners to host India's matches, despite initially rejecting PCB's hybrid model

Asia Cup matches involving India could be played in Sri Lanka after the cricketing powerhouse refused to visit arch-rival and official host Pakistan, a board official said Sunday.

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is due to make a formal announcement in the coming week after calls for a different venue for India's games in the 50-over tournament in September, a Sri Lankan official said.

Neighbours India and Pakistan have not met on either side's soil in any version of the game since 2012, and only play each other in international tournaments on neutral grounds.

"It is very likely that some of the matches will be in Sri Lanka," the board official said, asking not to be named.

"But we have still not officially received confirmation."

Sri Lanka's board had expressed willingness to host some Asia Cup matches, despite the ongoing crisis impending Sri Lanka. The official said it had the capacity to conduct an international tournament, even though the island was still emerging from the economic downturn.

The unprecedented crisis led to months of protests and the ouster of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was accused of corruption and mismanagement. He fled the country and resigned in July 2022.

"Even at the height of the crisis when we didn't have fuel and electricity, we hosted the Australian team," the official said, referring to Australia's tour taking in three T20 matches, five ODIs and three Tests.

The Pakistan Cricket Board had threatened to boycott the World Cup in India, which is due to start in October, if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to play the Asia Cup in Pakistan a month earlier.

The BCCI has since been looking to work out a plan to play the six-nation tournament at a neutral venue in September. The other nations in the Asia Cup are Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

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