Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, who are currently attending ICC meetings in Durban, are due to meet with representatives of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Dubai on Sunday and Monday. Their aim is to finalize the details and schedule for the upcoming Asian Cup, which is set to start on August 31, according to a report from thenews.com.
A PCB official in Durban has informed ‘The News’ that after initial discussions held in South Africa, ACC representatives will meet with PCB officials in Dubai to work out all relevant details regarding the Asian Cup. It has been confirmed that Pakistan will host four matches, contrary to the original agreement to host only one match (Pakistan v Nepal).
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The official said: “To begin with, the ACC agreed to host only one Asian Cup match in Pakistan, specifically Pakistan v Nepal. However, after a series of discussions between the former chairman of the management committee Najam Sethi and ACC officials, it was decided that Pakistan will host three more matches including Pakistan v Nepal and most of the first round matches of other groups i.e. Afghanistan v Nepal Bangladesh, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka v Afghanistan. In the final, Pakistan will face arch-rivals India, most likely in Dambulla twice a week.”
Pakistan will host four matches: After initial discussions, the ACC agreed to hold a single match, Pakistan v Nepal, in Pakistan. However, after productive negotiations between former chairman of the management committee Najam Sethi and ACC officials, Pakistan’s hosting rights were extended. The country will now host a total of four matches, including Pakistan v Nepal and several first-round matches between the other participating teams.
Financial Considerations: The PCB stresses the importance of generating substantial revenue from the Asian Cup. Although the matches in Sri Lanka have yet to be allocated to specific venues, the focus is on securing revenue for Pakistan’s hosting of the remaining matches. Initially, the event was to be held in the United Arab Emirates, where the PCB expected significant revenue from gate sales, floor hoarding and associated marketing activities. However, the challenge of generating additional income in Sri Lanka necessitates reaching an agreement with the ACC to ensure a mutually beneficial financial outcome.
Revenue corresponding to India: The PCB under the leadership of Najam Sethi has engaged in discussions with ACC officials to ensure revenue generation to match what India achieved in hosting the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year. The PCB aims to ensure an equivalent financial outcome, further emphasizing the importance of revenue generation for Pakistan.
Additional Considerations: Beyond financial matters, the Dubai meeting will address various logistical aspects such as team arrangements, coordination of officials and travel arrangements for journalists covering the event. These elements play a crucial role in ensuring the success and smooth running of the Asian Cup.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) called an emergency meeting in Dubai on Sunday to discuss and finalize the schedule for the upcoming 2023 Asian Cup. pic.twitter.com/320KbmU9h8
— HamPakistani (@HamPakistanii) July 14, 2023
The PCB official pointed out that the financial aspect of the Asian Cup is of paramount importance. While the matches in Sri Lanka have yet to be decided, the focus is on generating revenue for Pakistan’s hosting of the remaining matches. Initially, the event was to be held in the United Arab Emirates, where the PCB planned to generate revenue through gate money, floor hoarding and related marketing ventures. However, in Sri Lanka, it can be difficult to generate additional income. Therefore, the PCB aims to reach an agreement with the ACC to ensure that they receive the desired revenue. During Najam Sethi’s tenure as the head of the PCB committee, negotiations were ongoing with ACC officials to secure an amount equivalent to what India generated by hosting the Asian Cup in the UAE l ‘last year.
Apart from income, other issues such as teams, officials and travel arrangements for journalists will also be discussed at the next meeting in Dubai on Sunday. PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, who recently met in Durban, held preliminary discussions on all issues that are expected to be finalized in Dubai ahead of the official announcement. The only window available to host the Asian Cup is in the first fortnight of September, with the first game already scheduled for August 31. After September 15, the focus will be on preparations for the World Cup.