Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan & Lanka

Indo-Pak clash
Indian-Pakistan clash promises to be the highlight of the tournament. File photo: Twitter@BCCI

Original hosts Pakistan will split Asia Cup matches with Sri Lanka under a new "hybrid model" for the tournament beginning on August 31, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) said on Thursday.

The move clears the way for Pakistan's participation in the subsequent 50-overs World Cup in India in October-November.

"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," the ACC said in a statement.

India had ruled out travelling to Pakistan because of the soured political relations between the neighbours who play each other only in multi-team tournaments.

In reply, Pakistan had threatened to boycott the ODI World Cup in India if they were made to stage the entire Asia Cup in another country.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi thanked the ACC for accepting what he called "the best solution" to navigate the crisis.

"This means the PCB will remain as the event host and stage matches in Pakistan with Sri Lanka as the neutral venue, which was required due to the Indian cricket team’s inability to travel to Pakistan," Sethi said in a statement.

"Our passionate fans would have loved to see the India cricket team in action in Pakistan for the first time in 15 years, but we understand the BCCI’s position.

"Like the PCB, the BCCI also requires government approval and clearance before crossing borders."

The final of the six-team tournament is scheduled on September 17.

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