For the first time in over a decade, Pakistan earned the hosting rights for the next edition of the Asia Cup, set to be played in 2020. However, there are still uncertainty over the tournament will be held in Pakistan or in UAE where they have played most of their home games since the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.
As per media reports in Pakistan, the competition will switch back to being a T20 event due to the World T20I that year. The tournament is scheduled to be played in September 2020 – a month ahead of the World T20I in Australia.
The decision to give Pakistan the hosting rights was taken during the ACC Executive board meeting in Dhaka.
“The next Asia Cup will be hosted by Pakistan. The hosting right belongs to them and it is up to them where they want to host the tournament,” said ACC President Nazmul Hassan.
What can further dent Pakistan’s hopes of hosting the Asia Cup is their tensed political relations with India. India have not played a full-fledged series against Pakistan since 2007. In the last one decade or so, the arch-rivals have mainly played against each other in ICC and ACC tournaments.
Recently, India declined to send its team to Pakistan for the ACC Emerging Nations Cup. Consequently, the ACC had to schedule India’s games as well as the final in Sri Lanka.
In case Pakistan misses out on hosting the tournament, UAE is likely to host back-to-back Asia Cups, having held a 50-over version this September. Pakistan, meanwhile, last hosted the Asia Cup in 2008. Since then, they have not hosted any tournament. Last year, a World XI side and Windies had visited Pakistan but things are still not very promising as far as return of international cricket to Pakistan is concerned.