India to skip Asia Cup if venue is Pakistan
BCCI says venue being Pakistan is deal-breaker for us due to security concerns
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the Indian team will opt out of the Asia Cup if it’s been hosted in Pakistan. However, India has no problem with PCB hosting the tournament, but it has to be a neutral venue for BCCI to send its team.
Earlier, it was confirmed by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be hosting the 2020 edition of the Asia Cup. However, the BCCI never liked the idea of the PCB hosting it in its own country. India has repeatedly made it clear that the venue needs to be a neutral one for them to be able to participate. Speaking to IANS news agency, a BCCI official has made it clear that while PCB’s hosting rights is not an issue, the venue being Pakistan is a deal-breaker for India due to security concerns.
"The question isn't about the PCB hosting the tournament. It is about the venue and as things stand now, it is quite clear that we would need a neutral venue. There is no way that an Indian team can visit Pakistan to even participate in a multi-nation event like the Asia Cup. If the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is ok with an Asia Cup minus India then it is a different ball game. But if India is to participate in the Asia Cup, then the venue cannot be Pakistan," the official was quoted as saying by IANS.
Despite cricket returning to Pakistan, after a decade’s hiatus, India is still not in a position to travel to Pakistan anytime soon. In fact, due to similar issues the 2018 edition of the Asia Cup - that was hosted by India - was shifted out of the country with BCCI hosting the event in UAE. Hence, the BCCI are insisting that this time, too, the venue be shifted to a neutral one.
The official said that the PCB can do just the same and host the event in a neutral venue. "A neutral venue is always an option. BCCI did it in 2018," the official added.