'You can include England in it and make it Euro-Asia Cup' - Salman Butt on discussions of hosting Asia Cup in England
A neutral venue like England is not viable for Asia Cup, says Salman Butt.
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Former Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt expressed his displeasure once the discussion of hosting the 2023 Asia Cup in England began. The conflict between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not something new. Since Pakistan obtained the hosting rights for the Continental Championship, the BCCI have taken a firm stance on not travelling to Pakistan, raising tensions between the two cricketing regulatory organizations.
Earlier in May, PCB chief Najam Sethi proposed a hybrid model for hosting the multi-nation event during an Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting, with India playing their matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The suggestion, however, was rejected by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). Following this, Sethi proposed the idea of hosting the Asia Cup in England while speaking to an Indian media outlet.
However, Butt raised questions about staging the Asia Cup in England, claiming that a neutral venue for a tournament supposed to represent the Asian continent would be inappropriate.
“A neutral venue like this [England] is not viable for Asia Cup, it will not make sense as it will mean that there is not a single venue in Asia where it could be held,” Butt was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
You can also include Ireland and Netherlands in Asia Cup: Butt
Butt went on to say that European countries can be included in the Asia Cup to make it similar to a World Cup tournament. The 38-year-old stated that the event will feature six Asian nations and four European countries, making it a ten-team competition, and opined that it will be a warm-up for the World Cup. He added that, while providing options, it is necessary to determine whether they are practical or not.
“You can include England in it and make it Euro-Asia Cup. You can also give this suggestion. In the past, Austral-Asia Cup used to take place in which Australia participated. You can also include Ireland and Netherlands in it. It would be a World Cup-like event, as it will have six teams from Asia and four countries from Europe, so it will be a ten-team tournament. It will be dress rehearsal for World Cup. You can come up with as many ideas as possible but you also have to see what is practically possible,” he added.
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