Asia Cup 2023 – four matches in Pakistan, nine in Sri Lanka


The dates and venues for the 2023 Asia Cup have finally been officially confirmed, with the tournament set to take place in Pakistan and Sri Lanka between August 31 and September 17. A detailed schedule, however, has not yet been released.

The tournament was originally meant to be held entirely in Pakistan but a hybrid model became necessary after the BCCI said India would not travel to Pakistan. As reported by ESPNcricinfo, in the hybrid model approved by the Asian Cricket Council, four of the 13 matches will be played in Pakistan and the remaining nine in Sri Lanka.

This will be the first time since 2008 that matches of a multi-nation tournament will be staged in Pakistan. “I am elated that our hybrid version for the ACC Asia Cup 2023 has been accepted,” Najam Sethi, chair of the PCB management committee, said. “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.

“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.

“I now look forward to continuing our discussions and deliberations with the ACC and Sri Lanka Cricket to iron out a few minor operational and logistical details so that we can launch our event planning and preparations.”

The 2023 edition will have India, Pakistan and Nepal in one group, and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in another group, with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the Super Four stage. The top two from the Super Four stage will then face off in the final. Matches will be played in the 50-over format as preparation for the ODI World Cup in India in October-November.

The hybrid model was proposed as a solution due to India refusing to tour Pakistan owing to strained political relations between the two countries. The PCB, as appointed hosts, were keen to ensure that at least part of the tournament was played in Pakistan. The UAE was in the running as a neutral venue but Bangladesh raised concerns over the extreme weather there in September.

Sri Lanka are the defending champions, though the 2022 event was played in the 20-over format. The last 50-over Asia Cup was played in 2018 in the UAE, where India beat Bangladesh in a thrilling final.

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