“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 release said. The tournament will feature India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal across 13 ODIs.
“We look forward to welcoming fans from around the world to witness this celebration of cricket at its finest,” the ACC added in the 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.
India had ruled out travelling to Pakistan for the tournament 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.
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.
(With Agency Inputs)