File image of Najam Sethi© Twitter
Team India qualified for the Super 4 stage of the ongoing Asia Cup after they defeated Nepal by 10 wickets (DLS method) on Monday. After coming a washed out clash against Pakistan on Saturday, the Rohit Sharma-led side once again had to face the wrath of the weather as rain played a spoilsport. However, this time the result ended in the favour of Team India as they chased down the revised target of 145 runs in 20.1 overs. The regular rainfall in Sri Lanka has been topic of discussion as it has been affecting the match results.
Asia Cup 2023 was originally slated to be played in Pakistan but due to their political tension with India, the continental event was co-hosted by Sri Lanka. As the matches now are getting marred by rain, former Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Najam Sethi lashed out at BCCI secretary Jay Shah for ignoring his request to host the matches in UAE.
“I pleaded for three approvals in various meetings with Jay Shah and ACC colleagues: Play all matches in Pakistan as international cricket had fully returned to Pakistan. When this was shot down. I proposed that we play five matches in Pakistan and eight in the UAE. This also they rejected and hinted at giving the Asia Cup hosting rights to Sri Lanka if we didn’t budge. Finally, after we said we might not participate, they scheduled four matches in Pakistan and posted the rest in Sri Lanka.” Najam Sethi wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
I pleaded for three approvals in various meetings with Jay Shah and ACC colleagues:
Play all matches in Pakistan as international cricket had fully returned to Pakistan.
When this was shot down
I proposed that we play five matches in Pakistan and eight in the UAE.
This also they…
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) September 4, 2023
“We repeatedly pointed out that the rains forecast in SL would adversely impact match results and diminish crowds at stadiums. We also argued that gate receipts from UAE stadiums would be many times more than those in SL given economic considerations. When Mr Shah didn’t agree, a high level delegation of the Emirates Cricket Board flew to Mumbai to persuade BCCI to play the Asia Cup in UAE as in the past when two IPLs and one ACC ODI event was played there in the same weather conditions. BCCI refused to accept their request. Only Mr Shah can explain why these options were rejected and why Sri Lanka was accommodated against all reason, logic, and rationality. The choice of venues in Sri Lanka was also problematic as we have seen,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, BCCI president Roger Binny and BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla reached Lahore for a two-day visit.
On the same day, Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf was asked about his talks with BCCI secretary Jay Shah regarding the shifting of matches due to rain. He just replied: “Thinking about it.”
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