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Asia Cup 2020: India’s participation in doubt after Pakistan named hosts

Gautam Kapoor

Asia Cup 2020: India's participation in doubt after Pakistan named hosts

India’s participation in doubt after Pakistan named hosts: The recent development has raised questions on India’s Asia Cup participation.

The Asian Cricket Council in a meeting convened by its members have decided to keep Pakistan as the hosts for Asia Cup 2020. In the attendance of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, all the partaking members decided to continue as per the schedule for now which will see Pakistan conduct the event in September next year ahead of the T20 World Cup slated to be held in Australia.

The news has put a colossal question mark over India’s participation in the biennial event which features all the major cricketing sides from the Asian continent. Having not played in Pakistan since 2008, ties between the two countries are at an all time low.

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The meeting of the ACC was chaired in Singapore. It has kept back up plans in place given the animosity between the two fierce rivals. In the case that relations between the two countries don’t see significant improvement before the Asia Cup, provisions are in place to shift the tournament to another venue as was done in 2018.

The previous year edition of the tournament was originally slated to be conducted in India before the prevailing conditions between the two countries saw the BCCI fail to procure the relevant clearance from the Indian government to allow Pakistan to play in the country. Following the hard stand by the India government, the BCCI was forced to shift the tournament to UAE.

India’s participation in doubt after Pakistan named hosts

If the ACC decides to go ahead with Pakistan, one things is guaranteed that India’s foray at the event will be down to zero with the country almost unlikely to step foot on Pakistan.

The ACC meeting also decided to keep the rotation system in place for the showpiece event which will feature six Asian countries which include India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the winner of the Asian Cricket Qualifier event. According to the guidelines, each edition of the event will alternate between the T20 and ODI format with 2020 expected to be played in the T20 format.

The meeting also stressed upon the ACC’s unnerving commitment to bring cricket to the global stage by including the game in the 2022 Asian Games scheduled in Hangzhou, China. The requisite decision to push the envelope and bring cricket to forth for the first time to the Asian Games was taken when the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) included cricket in the sports programme at the OCA’s General Assembly in Bangkok in March last year.

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