PCB mulling UAE as the host for the 2020 Asia Cup

PCB mulling UAE as the host for the 2020 Asia Cup

The PCB and ACC are in contact with the UAE for the tournament to take place there.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The coronavirus pandemic has created a situation where many sporting events have been cancelled. However, with no international cricket since March, all the cricket boards have started to discuss the possible return of the cricket. England is all set to play West Indies in a three-match Test series next month. The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be played in Australia in October might also be held as planned.

The 2020 Asia Cup T20, which was scheduled to be held in August or September has also been discussed as well. The hosting rights are with Pakistan but it is unlikely that the tournament will be played there. Sources with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have revealed that the board is planning to host the T20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Because of COVID 19 and the future uncertainty and India avoiding to tour Pakistan, it has been decided by PCB — being the host board — that UAE is the first option to host Asia Cup this year in September. The PCB and ACC are in contact with the UAE but it will take about a week or two before things get finalised about UAE as the final venue to host Asia Cup,” said the sources, according to Dawn.

PCB considering Sri Lanka as a reserve option for Asia Cup 2020

UAE also hosted the Asia Cup in 2018, a tournament which saw six teams competing in a 50-overs format. The hosting rights of that tournament were with India. After a lot of discussions, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had decided to schedule the tournament in the UAE.

It should also be noted that the UAE has also offered the BCCI to host the IPL 2020. The 13th edition of the cash-rich league had to be postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are sources, which reveal that PCB is looking at Sri Lanka as a possible alternative for Asia Cup 2020. It’s because the situation of COVID-19 is quite better in the island nation. India might also agree to travel to Sri Lanka as they are already scheduled to travel Lanka in July-August for a bilateral series.

“During the ACC meeting, Mani spoke to Sri Lankan Cricket Chairman about the possibility of holding Asia Cup there in case the UAE is not ready to host it. It was discussed with the SLC that Pakistan may ask Sri Lanka to host Asia Cup this year as they are much in control of the COVID 19 pandemic situation as compared to Pakistan and if Sri Lanka agrees, Pakistan can swap the 2022 Asia Cup with Sri Lanka and host it in Pakistan after two years,” said the sources.