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Government’s meeting with BCCI jeopardizes plans of hosting Asia Cup

The officials of the Indian cricket board, including the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, met the Sports Minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

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A view of logo of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). (Photo by Aniruddha Chowhdury/Mint via Getty Images)

The officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently met the officials of the Indian government to discuss several issues related to the sport. The key highlight among all the issues was pertaining to playing against the arch-rivals Pakistan. The officials of the Indian cricket board, including the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, met the Sports Minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

BCCI’s Game Development Manager, Ratnakar Shetty, was also present at the meeting that lasted for an hour. As per the recent reports in the New Indian Express, the meeting did not yield any fruitful outcomes for the BCCI. The centre made it clear that they have no objections with regard to India playing Pakistan in the ICC events. However, they will intervene if and when the two countries play in the bilateral contest.

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Also, this has essentially jeopardized the plans of the boards to host the next edition of the Asia Cup. If India hosts the Asia Cup, they will have to invite Pakistan in order to oblige to the rules of the Asian Cricket Council. A top board official noted the same.

“Asia Cup doesn’t come under ICC. It is more of a bilateral arrangement and if we commit, then Pakistan has to be invited. There is no possibility of hosting it sans Pakistan as it will affect the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) memorandum. As of now, the chance of hosting the event is not under BCCI’s control,” a board official said.

Same old problem

It is worth noting that the problem has been persisting from quite some time. The ACC U19 Asia Cup was also scheduled to be held in India. However, the Indian board had informed the ACC that they have not sought any clearance from the centre regarding inviting Pakistan. And hence, the tournament was shifted out of India and was played in Malaysia.

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