Jay Shah, the President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has defended his choice to hold the Asia Cup 2023 matches in Sri Lanka, despite the ongoing disruption caused by heavy rainfall.
Shah explained that this decision was made because other teams were hesitant to play in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the extreme heat.
ACC and Shah have faced criticism from the cricketing community regarding the scheduling of the event, especially since Sri Lanka’s persistent rain is likely to impact the upcoming Super 4 matches. Even the group stage match between India and Pakistan had to be canceled due to rain.
Shah stated, “Initially, all full members, media rights holders, and in-stadium rights holders were reluctant to commit to hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan. This reluctance was primarily due to concerns about security and the economic situation in the country.”
“In my role as ACC President, I was dedicated to finding a workable and mutually acceptable solution. Therefore, I accepted the hybrid model proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in collaboration with ACC management.
However, it’s important to note that there were changes in PCB leadership, leading to negotiations, particularly regarding crucial aspects like tax exemption and insurance for matches.”
“The Asia Cup 2022 was held in the UAE in the T20 format, and it’s crucial to recognize that the dynamics of a T20 tournament are different from a 100-over One-day format. ACC members received feedback from their high-performance teams expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in September. This schedule could have led to player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, especially right before the ICC Cricket World Cup.”
Shah emphasized that all decisions regarding the Asia Cup 2023 were made with the players’ well-being in mind ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023 in India.