Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Ehsan Mani said that the PCB would not agree to cancel the Asia Cup scheduled to take place in the UAE in September for the Indian Premier League, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IPL was scheduled to be held from 29 March to 24 May but was postponed indefinitely due to an extended lockdown to combat the deadly virus in India.
In a recent interview, Mani asserted, “I have read and heard about these speculations but right now just remember that having or not having the Asia Cup is not a decision between Pakistan and India it involves other countries as well.”
Pakistan was to host the event, but it was moved to Dubai and Abu Dhabi following India’s reluctance to come here due to security concerns and the tight diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Mani further added, “It is important to have the Asia Cup if cricket activities resume by then because development of Asian cricket depends on funding from the tournament. It is important for many countries who are members of the Asian Cricket Council.”
He also admitted, however, that holding this year’s Asia Cup is a major challenge, since right now “we don’t know if it can be held or not.”
The PCB Chairman then said, “But if the conditions change and we can have the Asia Cup, it must be held as earnings from it are distributed as development funds to member countries for next two years.”
He said that the rumors at this stage were pure speculation about the Asia Cup being hosted by Bangladesh or the UAE.
Speaking about another big event, Mani warned that if the T20 World Cup, to be held in Australia in October-November, is postponed; the financial fallout will be big for many countries.
He also ruled out the resumptions of international cricket being played in empty stadiums as the players are still at risk because of traveling and staying at hotels.
Mani also disclosed that Pakistan is willing to host many ICC tournaments starting from 2023 to 2031, including the ICC Youth Cup and World Cups.
And he concluded by saying, “Unfortunately the last time the cycle of ICC events were bid for the big three, India, Australia and England distributed all the main events among themselves. This time I can say there are more countries interested in hosting the events.”