Sri Lanka & Pakistan Selected as Hosts for Asia Cup 2023 – Tournament Dates Announced
Written by Sanjay Kumar
2023 Asia Cup
- Location: Pakistan, Sri Lanka
- Dates: 2 Sept 2023 – 17 Sept 2023 (Tentative Dates)
- Administrator(s): Asian Cricket Council
- Cricket format: One-Day International
- Matches: 13
- Participants: 6
- Tournament format(s): Group stage and final
The official confirmation of the 2023 Asia Cup dates and venues have finally been announced. The tournament is scheduled to take place in Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 31 to September 17. While a detailed schedule is yet to be released, the Asian Cricket Council has approved a hybrid model for the tournament.
Originally planned to be held solely in Pakistan, the format had to be adjusted due to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stating that the Indian team would not travel to Pakistan. Under the hybrid model, as reported by ESPNcricinfo, four out of the 13 matches will be played in Pakistan, while the remaining nine will be held in Sri Lanka.
This marks the return of multi-nation tournament matches to Pakistan for the first time since 2008. Najam Sethi, the chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee, expressed his delight at the acceptance of the hybrid version for the ACC Asia Cup 2023. He acknowledged the BCCI’s concerns and explained that Sri Lanka will serve as the neutral venue, fulfilling the requirement due to the Indian cricket team’s inability to travel to Pakistan.
While it would have been a momentous occasion to witness the Indian cricket team playing in Pakistan after 15 years, Sethi emphasized understanding the BCCI’s position, as both boards require government approval and clearance to cross borders. Sethi looks forward to further discussions and collaboration with the Asian Cricket Council and Sri Lanka Cricket to address minor operational and logistical details in order to commence event planning and preparations.
The 2023 edition of the Asia Cup will feature two groups: India, Pakistan, and Nepal in one group, and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in the other. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Four stage, where they will compete for a place in the final. The matches will be played in the 50-over format, serving as preparation for the ODI World Cup in India, scheduled for October-November.
The hybrid model was proposed as a solution to accommodate India’s refusal to tour Pakistan due to strained political relations between the two countries. The PCB, as the designated hosts, aimed to ensure that at least a portion of the tournament would be played in Pakistan. While the UAE was considered a neutral venue, concerns were raised by Bangladesh regarding the extreme weather conditions in September.
Sri Lanka enters the tournament as the defending champions, although the 2022 edition was played in the 20-over format. The last 50-over Asia Cup took place in 2018 in the UAE, where India emerged victorious against Bangladesh in a thrilling final.
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