Pakistan to host 2020 Asia Cup

Updated 15 Dec 2018

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It remains unclear whether the tournament will be played in Pakistan or the UAE. — File
It remains unclear whether the tournament will be played in Pakistan or the UAE. — File

DHAKA: The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has awarded the hosting rights for the 2020 Asia Cup to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). However, the final venue for the tournament remains unclear over whether it will be played in Pakistan or the UAE.

The decision was made in the Bangladesh capital on Thursday.

“The next Asia Cup will be hosted by Pakistan, and the hosting right belongs to them. Where they will host the tournament, it’s up to them,” ACC president Nazmul Hassan Papon was quoted as saying by The Dhaka Tribune.The tournament is scheduled to be played in September 2020, and will be played in the T20 format. It is set to precede the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup.

The UAE has served as Pakistan’s adopted home for their bilateral series since 2010 after international cricket stopped in the country following the March 2009 terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

Furthermore, Pakistan hosted group ‘B’ matches of the 2018 ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup.

The 50-overs-a-side 2018 Asia Cup was scheduled to be played in India, but was shifted to the UAE with India triumphing over Bangladesh in the final by three wickets.

Ehsan Mani, PCB chairman and ACC chief development officer, said on Thursday: “We have a long programme to develop Asian cricket. We want to start from u-16 and u-19 to the Asia Cup.

“It’s not about cricket only but also about developing our umpires, match referees. Our main focus is to strengthen cricket of Asia which is the strongest area for [world] cricket. Afghanistan invested a lot for cricket and thus they became the full member nation of the International Cricket Council (ICC). We’re searching for more nations. Oman, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia are doing well. They can bring themselves to the next level. We’re trying to develop cricket of these countries,” Mani, the former ACC president, added.

ACC vice-president K.H. Imran, Mani, BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary, BCB chief executive Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, SLC president Kamal Path­masiri and Afghanistan Cricket Board president Azziullah Fazale attended the ACC board meeting.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018