The BCCI is reportedly not happy over plans being made to host the Asia Cup this year. The Asia Cup looked likely to be postponed this year due to the pandemic. However, recent reports have suggested that Sri Lanka have got the green light from Pakistan to host the tournament.
Pakistan have the hosting rights for the competition. However, India have made it clear that they won’t visit Pakistan due to the poor bilateral relation. And now Sri Lanka have emerged as front-runner to host Asia Cup, much to BCCI’s surprise.
Soon after the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting last week, when members met via a teleconference but failed to arrive at any conclusion over the immediate future of the tournament, reports of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreeing to swap the tournament with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the latter agreeing to host the same began to emerge.
The reports were further bolstered when SLC chief Shammi Silva spoke to the media and said that the ACC has agreed to Sri Lanka hosting this year’s edition of the Asia Cup.
“We had a discussion with Pakistan Cricket Board and they have already agreed to our hosting this edition due to the present world situation. We had an online ACC meeting and they basically gave us the green light to host the tournament,” Silva said.
However, the BCCI office-bearers have taken very strong objection to these reports and have categorically stated that no decision has been taken whatsoever on the tournament.
“We have no idea where such reports are coming from and we are surprised how fast these reports travel. The BCCI is clear that no decision was taken at the ACC meeting. The Board (BCCI) is tired of giving out these clarifications. Earlier it was about travelling to Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, and BCCI had to deny it with a statement. Now this,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by TOI.
The priority for BCCI is now to host the IPL. The failure to host the tournament will cost the board close to INR 4000 crore. The Indian board is currently waiting for a decision from the ICC on T20 World Cup. If the marquee ICC event is cancelled this year, the IPL is likely to be held in October-November.
“Let’s be clear about that first. There won’t be a truncated IPL just to host an Asia Cup. Those thinking on such lines are clearly not speaking in India’s interests and the BCCI will not be party to it,” sources added.
The broadcast industry will come into play here and industry executives are in no doubt that when it comes to numbers, nothing’s a match for the IPL.
“Even the World Cup in England was a loss-making event for the broadcaster and we’re talking about an Asia Cup here. The IPL is a different beast altogether. Who’re these people who refuse to understand the numbers? It’s in Indian cricket’s best interests to host the IPL. What are we going to cater to? India’s interests or PCB’s interests?,” said another source.