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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Moved out Asia Cup from Pakistan due to security, economic concerns: Jay Shah

In the midst of persistent rainfall disrupting the Asia Cup 2023 matches in Sri Lanka, Jay Shah has come forward to defend the decision to host the tournament in Sri Lanka.

Jay Shah says the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 was moved out from Pakistan due to the country’s economic and security situation. Jay Shah is the President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

In the midst of persistent rainfall disrupting the Asia Cup 2023 matches in Sri Lanka, Jay Shah has come forward to defend the decision to host the tournament in Sri Lanka. Critics have raised concerns about the scheduling of the event, given the adverse weather conditions currently affecting the island nation.

According to a report by India Today, Jay Shah clarified that the choice of Sri Lanka as the venue was influenced by the reluctance of other participating teams to play in the scorching heat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As a result, the ACC and Jay Shah have been facing criticism from cricket enthusiasts and experts alike, particularly as the Super 4 matches in the Asia Cup hang in the balance due to relentless rainfall. Even the high-profile group stage clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan was abandoned due to inclement weather.

Shah, addressing the criticisms, explained, “Initially, all the full members, media rights holders, and in-stadium rights holders were hesitant to commit to hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan. This hesitancy was primarily linked to concerns about the security and economic situation in the country.”

“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 proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in collaboration with ACC management. However, it’s important to note that PCB’s leadership underwent several changes, leading to negotiations, particularly on critical aspects like tax exemption and insurance for matches.”

Shah went on to elaborate, “The Asia Cup 2022 was held in the UAE in the T20 format. It’s crucial to highlight that the dynamics of a T20 tournament differ significantly from those of a 100-over One-day format. ACC members received feedback from their respective high-performance teams expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in September. Such a schedule could have potentially resulted in player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, especially just before the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup.”

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Shah emphasized that all decisions regarding the Asia Cup 2023 were made with the players’ well-being in mind, especially considering the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 in India. He concluded, “The decision-making process for the Asia Cup 2023 format and venue aimed to prioritize the players’ well-being and the sport’s broader interests. The ultimate goal was to strike a balance that would enable a competitive and successful tournament while ensuring the health and readiness of participating teams for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.”

As the Asia Cup 2023 continues amidst weather-related challenges, Jay Shah’s comments shed light on the intricate decision-making process that led to the choice of Sri Lanka as the venue and reaffirm the commitment to the players’ welfare in the world of cricket.