After chairman Ehsan Mani, CEO Wasim Khan has reiterated Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) stance that they would 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 this year, now stands suspended indefinitely 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 CEO said on GTV News Channel as quoted by IANS, “Our stance is absolutely clear, the Asia Cup is set for September and the only reason it should not take place is continued health safety issues. We will not accept that the Asia Cup is moved to accommodate the IPL.”
“I have heard that there is talk to move the Asia Cup to November-December but for us that is not possible. If you move the Asia Cup, you are making way for one member nation and that is not right and it will not have our support,” he added.
However, Khan 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.
He further said that at Thursday’s ICC Chief Executives virtual meeting, the BCCI representative did not raise the IPL window issue.
Khan, who represented PCB at the meet, said Cricket Australia informed other boards that it was exploring all options but no decision was taken on moving the T20 World Cup — currently scheduled to be played in Australia in October-November — to another date or to another country.
“The T20 World Cup might be played behind closed doors because if we don’t play T20 World Cup each board potentially stands to lose between 15 and 20 million dollars,” said the PCB CEO.