Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ehsan Mani has asserted that they will not agree to cancel or postpone the Asia Cup, scheduled to be played in the UAE in September, to accommodate the Indian Premier League which now stands postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IPL 2020, which was scheduled to be played from March 29, was postponed to April 15 after the deadly outbreak of the novel coronavirus which has already affected more than 11 thousand people and killed over 300. Also, with India all set to remain under lockdown till May 3, the fate of the cash-rich tournament hangs in doubt.

However, there have been various media reports suggesting BCCI is mulling alternative windows like August-September and October-November to stage the 2020’s edition of the cash-rich tournament. But all of the speculations lacked an official backing as the fate of IPL continues to hang in doubt.

But clearing what Pakistan’s stand would be if such a scenario arises, the PCB chairman said, “I have read and heard about these speculations but right now just remember that having or not having the Asia Cup is not a decision between Pakistan and India it involves other countries as well.”

Pakistan were to host the event but it was shifted to Dubai and Abu Dhabi after India expressed reluctance to come here owing to security concerns and the strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“…it is important to have the Asia Cup if cricket activities resume by then because development of Asian cricket depends on funding from the tournament. It is important for many countries who are members of the Asian Cricket Council,” he added in a podcast released by the PCB.

However, Mani admitted that the present circumstances have made it a big challenge for them to stage the Asia Cup as planned. But he made sure that if the situation changes in the near future they will push for the tournament as otherwise it would have financial implications.

“But if the conditions change and we can have the Asia Cup, it must be held as earnings from it are distributed as development funds to member countries for next two years,” he said.

With PTI inputs