Doubts over India’s participation as Pakistan set to host Asia Cup 2020

Doubts over India’s participation as Pakistan set to host Asia Cup 2020

The ACC decided Pakistan will continue to be the hosts unless the situation demands otherwise.

Indian team
Indian team celebrates with the Asia Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan will host the next edition of the Asia Cup in 2020 just before the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia. Keeping in mind the immediate ICC tournament that follows, the 15th edition of the Asia Cup will be played in the T20 format. The decision was taken by the Asia Cricket Council (ACC) during their meeting in Singapore. Officials from the cricket boards of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan also attended the meeting.

In 2015, the ACC had announced that Asia Cup tournaments will be played on a rotation basis in ODI and T20I format. Consequently, the 2016 edition was the first tournament in T20I format, keeping in mind the T20 World Cup that year. Last year, it was played in 50-overs format because of this year’s World Cup. India are the defending champions, having won the title by beating Bangladesh last year. The Men in Blue are also the most successful side in the history of the Asia Cup, having won the title a record seven times including the last two.

India’s participation in doubt

While ACC has decided to give the hosting rights to Pakistan, it is a no-brainer that the decision has put doubts over India’s participation. The political relationship between the two nations is at an all-time low and India are more than unlikely to travel to Pakistan next year. The bilateral relation between the two arch-rivals is suspended for quite some time now. India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series way back in 2012 when the latter visited the former for a short limited-overs format tour.

The last full-fledged series took place in 2007 when India had welcomed Pakistan before the 2008 Mumbai attack suspended the ties. The two neighbours now play against each other only in ICC tournaments or the Asia Cup. The bilateral relation between the two countries has deteriorated further after the Pulwama attack this year. In fact, there were also doubts that India could boycott Pakistan at the World Cup before the ICC refused to accept the move.

However, media reports are suggesting that the ACC could change the venue if the situation demands. According to the New Indian Express, the tournament will be shifted to another venue if diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan do not improve. The ACC decided Pakistan will continue to be the hosts unless the situation demands otherwise.