The next Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in 2023, is likely to take place in Pakistan, according to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), but the exact date has not been revealed. The ACC will hold a meeting in March to finalise the venue of the competition.
The ACC has been struggling to resolve the tussle with the BCCI over the hosting of the Asia Cup 2023, and is looking for a quick solution. The ACC has proposed a compromise formula where India’s matches in the tournament will be played at neutral venues, with Pakistan hosting the event.
This may end the current logjam between India and Pakistan, as both nations have expressed a desire to play in a neutral tournament. The Indian board has maintained it will not send its team to Pakistan for the competition, while the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has in turn threatened to withdraw from the ODI World Cup due to be hosted in India later this year.
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It was the PCB that first suggested Pakistan could host the Asia Cup in 2023, although the ACC has also put forward its own itinerary. It has not made a firm commitment on the venue but sources have told ESPNCricinfo that the United Arab Emirates with its three venues of Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are being considered.
Regardless of the venue, the tournament will be a major event that will help prepare the Asian teams for the upcoming ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in England and Wales later this year. It will feature six teams, and the top two of each group will qualify for the Super 4 stage.
The ICC has awarded the global media rights of the Asia Cup, along with the Women’s Asia Cup, Emerging Asia Cup and U19 Asia Cup to Star India for an eight-year period from 2016 to 2023. The deal will help strengthen the cricket portfolio of the company and provide much needed funding for the game across the region.
As for the format of the tournament, it will be in a 50-over format, just like the ODI World Cup that will be held in the same year. It will also feature 13 matches and a final.
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While the exact timetable has not been released, it is expected to begin on 2 September and run until 17 September. The schedule will be released at a later date, and will include all the details including venues and timetables.
In addition to the ODI World Cup in 2023, the Asia Cup will also feature a T20I series and a U19 International. The T20I series is due to be held in India in December, while the U19 International will take place in Malaysia in June.
The ACC has been working hard to secure the future of the Asia Cup, and the latest news is that the Pakistani government is willing to help with the hosting of the tournament in 2023. The government has agreed to provide the required security for the players and other staff in Pakistan, as well as a suitable stadium.
The Rivalry of Cricket Between India and Pakistan
The cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan is a highly-charged, high-stakes affair that sees hundreds of millions of people follow matches on TV or online. The storied match between these two nations is often referred to as the ‘El Clasico’ of cricket and is one of the most watched sports games in the world, with millions of fans from both sides following the action.
The history of the India vs Pakistan rivalry dates back to the Partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947. The tense relations between the two nations, which were aggravated by the Indo-Pakistani Wars and the Kashmir conflict, paved the way for the emergence of an intense sporting rivalry.
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Despite the rivalry, there has been a great deal of respect and mutual understanding between the sides. Moreover, many players in the current Indian team get goosebumps playing against the arch-rivals, according to a recent report by The Hindu.
Although, the tense relationship between these two countries hasn’t eased up completely, the cricketing competitions between them have gained huge interest in recent times. The ICC has held several cricket events between the two nations like the Cricket World Cup, Champions Trophy and T20 tournaments.
Since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan national cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan has withdrawn from touring India and has also not hosted international cricket events for more than a decade, due to security concerns. In contrast, India has played Pakistan several times in a short six-match white-ball series and also in various ICC and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) tournaments.
In recent years, the cricketing communities of the two countries have been at odds over whether to hold a Test match between the sides in the future. The issue is also a topic of dispute between the two boards.
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The recent T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground saw a heaving crowd of 90,000 people watch on the big screen. The match was a roaring success with the game drawing in an audience of 225 million viewers on digital platforms, breaking the record for the largest T20 match ever televised.
While India dominated the match in the first half, Pakistan managed to fight their way back and win the game by just four runs. The match was one of the most evocative T20 matches in recent memory and has gone down in the annals of history as one of the most memorable games of the 21st century.
After the game, India coach Ravi Shastri lauded the level of respect and camaraderie between the teams. He said there is always a special feeling around playing against the arch-rivals, but that he doesn’t think the rivalry has become too bitter for the players to overcome.
He added that the team’s management is working hard to resolve the issues and is confident they can bring a positive result on the field.
The cricketing community is also divided over whether to host a future 50-over World Cup in India or Pakistan. The issue has been sparked by the BCCI secretary Jay Shah’s statement that India won’t host the 2023 Asia Cup in Pakistan.