Asia Cup to be held in hybrid model from August 31 to September 17: ACC

New Delhi:  Ending months of speculation around the Asia Cup, the the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Thursday announced that the tournament will be staged in a hybrid model with four games in Pakistan and nine in Sri Lanka from August 31 to September 17.

The deadlock over the staging of the 50-over tournament was broken last week when Jay Shah-led ACC accepted to host Pakistan Cricket Board’s hybrid model of conducting four non-India games in Pakistan.

The hybrid model was proposed as the BCCI had made it clear that it won’t send its team to Pakistan due to the longstanding geo political tensions between the two countries.

”We are delighted to announce that the Asia Cup 2023 will be held from 31st August to 17th September 2023 and will see the elite teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal, compete in a total of 13 exciting ODI matches.

”The tournament will be hosted in a hybrid model with four matches being held in Pakistan, and the remaining nine matches being played in Sri Lanka,” said the ACC in a statement The 2023 edition will feature two groups, with two teams from each group qualifying for the Super Four stage. The top two teams from the Super Four stage will then face off in the final.

The city Lahore will host matches in Pakistan while the games to be played in Sri Lanka will be held in Kandy and Pallekele. The approval of the Asia Cup’s schedule also means that Pakistan will travel to India for the ODI World Cup in October-November. The arch-rivals are expected to face off at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad obn October 15. It is understood that once ICC CEO Geoff Allardice and chairman Greg Barclay visited Karachi to meet PCB chairman Najam Sethi last month, it was decided that Pakistan won’t set any conditions for competing in the World Cup, provided four Asia Cup games are held in the country as they have the hosting rights.

Playing a tournament without Pakistan would have meant that the broadcasters would be giving half-the-amount committed for the tournament because of two assured India-Pakistan games and may be a chance of a third, if the two teams reach the final.