Ex-PCB chief hits out at BCCI sec. Jay Shah over choosing Sri Lanka as venuetext_fields
New Delhi: Najam Sethi, the former chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), In a series of tweets, hit out at Jay Shah, the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who also leads the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), regarding the selection of venue for the Asia Cup cricket matches.
Sethi pointed out the adverse weather conditions and the ongoing rains in Sri Lanka, which have led to delays in the schedule for the Asia Cup 2023.
He revealed that he had strongly urged the ACC that they relocate the remaining matches of the Asia Cup to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) instead of Sri Lanka.
However, the Council opted to continue hosting the matches in the island nation, citing the excessively hot weather in the Middle East country.
“I pleaded for three approvals in various meetings with Jay Shah and ACC colleagues: Play all matches in Pakistan as international cricket had fully returned to Pakistan. When this was shot down I proposed that we play five matches in Pakistan and eight in the UAE. This also they rejected and hinted at giving the Asia Cup hosting rights to Sri Lanka if we didn’t budge,” Sethi wrote on X, reports The Indian Express.
“Finally, after we said we might not participate, they scheduled four matches in Pakistan and posted the rest in Sri Lanka. We repeatedly pointed out that the rains forecast in SL would adversely impact match results and diminish crowds at stadiums. We also argued that gate receipts from UAE stadiums would be many times more than those in SL given economic considerations,” he added.
After Shah refused, a high-level delegation from the Emirates Cricket Board flew to Mumbai to convince the BCCI to consider hosting the Asia Cup in the UAE as in the past when the country had successfully hosted two IPL seasons and an ACC ODI event under similar weather conditions.
“BCCI refused to accept their request. Only Shah can explain why these options were rejected and why Sri Lanka was accommodated against all reason, logic, and rationality. The choice of venues in Sri Lanka was also problematic as we have seen,” Sethi further added.
Pakistan was originally slated to host the Asia Cup this year. However, the BCCI was not keen on playing there due to ongoing political tensions between the two nations.
The Asia Cup 2023 features six participating teams: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and a qualifier team. Sri Lanka holds the title of defending champions in the UAE, after beating Pakistan in the final.