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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has noted with surprise and disappointment over comments made by the ACC President Jay Shah with regard to shifting of next year’s Asia Cup to a neutral venue.

The PCB also sought an emergency meeting of the ACC after the BCCI said Indian team will not tour Pakistan to play Asia Cup 2023. “Neutral venue for the Asia Cup is not unprecedented, and we have decided that we will not travel to Pakistan,” Jay Shah, who is also the ACC president, said following the 91st annual general meeting of the BCCI.

Sources claimed that the PCB is considering skipping the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 scheduled next year. India is slated to host the mega tournament from October to November next year.

The PCB in a statement said, “After having presided over the ACC meeting during which Pakistan was awarded the ACC Asia Cup with an overwhelming support and response from the ACC board members, Shah’s statement of shifting of the ACC Asia Cup has clearly been made unilaterally.

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This is contrary to the philosophy and spirit for which the Asian Cricket Council was formed in September 1983 – a united Asian cricket body to safeguard the interests of its Members and organise, develop, and promote the game of cricket in Asia.”

The statement added that the overall impact of such statements have the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities, and can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle.

The PCB has also written to the Asian Cricket Council to convene an emergency meeting of its Board as soon as practically possible on this important and sensitive matter.

Reacting to this development, former skipper Shahid Afridi said, “When excellent comradery between the two sides in the last 12 months has been established that has created good feel-good factor in the two countries, why BCCI made this statement?”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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