Pakistan optimistic about hosting India in 2023 Asia Cup, says PCB chairman Ehsan Mani
India have not visited Pakistan since 2008 when they toured the country for the Asia Cup.
Updated - Mar 18, 2021 8:30 pm
While the present bilateral relation between India and Pakistan is at an all-time low, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani is optimistic about hosting the neighbours in the 2023 Asia Cup. Mani is also hopeful that the political relations between the two countries would improve by the time the 2023 edition of the continental championship takes place.
It’s been almost a decade since India and Pakistan played against each other in a bilateral series. The last bilateral series between them took place in 2012 when Pakistan visited India for a short limited-overs tour. Since then, they have only met in ICC tournaments and Asia Cup. India last visited Pakistan in 2008 for the Asia Cup while the latter last visited India in 2016 for the T20 World Cup.
The relation has further deteriorated in recent years between the arch rivals. In 2018, the Asia Cup was shifted from India to the UAE after the BCCI could not procure permission from the central government to host Pakistan. Last year, the BCCI stated that it would not send the team to Pakistan for the tournament before it was shifted to Sri Lanka and then eventually postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
But Mani is hopeful things could change in the coming years. The PCB boss stated that there have been some positive signs in recent times. “In recent days there has been some positive signs through backdoor channels and hopefully the ice will melt in the relations,” Ehsan Mani told the Jang newspaper in an interview on Wednesday.
Asia Cup 2021 unlikely to go ahead
Ehsan Mani further said that it would be a big breakthrough for Pakistan cricket if they host India. He also confirmed that the Asia Cup 2021 was unlikely to be held as neither Pakistan nor India would have the time for it. Pakistan would be busy hosting the remaining matches of PSL 2021 while India would be busy with the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
“There was a small window [for the Asia Cup] in June in which we are going to play the rest of the Pakistan Super League matches,” Mani said. “The Indian team will play the final of the Test Championship against New Zealand. They have to go to England two weeks ago and stay in quarantine so the Indian team is also busy.”