Shoaib Akhtar wants Sri Lanka to host Asia Cup 2023 if it is taken out of Pakistan

Shoaib Akhtar wants India and Pakistan to play in the finals of the Asia Cup and the World Cup later this year.

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Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Shoaib Akhtar / Twitter)

Hosting the 2023 Asia Cup in Pakistan has become a bone of contention between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The Indian apex cricket control body has already hinted at their withdrawal from the tournament which is scheduled to be held later this year. It is understood that the PCB is also making some moves to boycott the ODI World Cup which will be played in India, later in 2023.

As things stand, former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, who is popularly known as Rawalpindi Express, has given his comments on the issue. Akhtar said that he wants the 2023 Asia Cup to be held in Sri Lanka if not in Pakistan. The veteran pacer who is currently playing in the Legends League Cricket Masters in Qatar also said that he wanted India and Pakistan to play in the finals of both the Asia Cup and the World Cup. Notably, Pakistan also have the hosting rights for the 2025 Champions Trophy. 

While speaking to ANI, Akhtar said: "I want Asia Cup 2023 to be held in Pakistan if not Pakistan then Sri Lanka. I want to see India and Pakistan play the final in Asia Cup and World Cup. Nothing else should happen in world cricket just India and Pakistan finals."

Venue of Asia Cup 2023 to be announced in March

On Monday, March 13, PCB chairman Najam Sethi said that if India’s stance does not change, PCB will also remain firm in its decision to boycott the ODI World Cup. He also questioned the BCCI, asking that if no other country has an issue with the security in Pakistan, why can India not travel.

“I have kept my options open because when all teams are coming to Pakistan and have no issues with security. Then why is India worried about security? In the same way, we can also have security concerns over sending our team to India for the World Cup and I will be bringing this to the table at the coming meetings,” Sethi said at a press conference.

Sethi went on to say that he will raise the issue in the next Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and ICC meetings. However, whether or not there will be any change in the venue will only be decided in the second round of the Executive Board Meeting of ACC members, later this month.

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