On a day, when BCCI president Sourav Ganguly reportedly spoke about Dubai being the venue for the next Asia Cup, his Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) counterpart, Ehsan Mani, said no final decision has been taken yet. The PCB has the hosting rights of this year’s tournament, to be played in September. But with India not travelling to Pakistan, the tournament would be played at a neutral venue.
“The Asia Cup is organised for the benefit of the Associate Members. We will take a decision keeping that in mind. A final decision will be taken bearing in mind the interests of all the Asian countries. We have a few options,” Mani, the PCB chairman, told The Indian Express.
Earlier, Ganguly reportedly said Dubai would be the venue for the next Asia Cup. “Asia Cup will be held in Dubai and both India and Pakistan will play,” the BCCI president told reporters at Eden Gardens, as quoted by PTI. In 2018, Dubai and Abu Dhabi were picked to host the Asia Cup matches, when the BCCI had the hosting rights.
Both Ganguly and Mani are expected to be present at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting at the Address Marina in Dubai on March 3. A decision with regards to the Asia Cup venue is likely to be taken there.
And the meeting might also discuss the coronavirus outbreak vis-à-vis the ACC events. It’s not an item of the agenda, but with the outbreak getting bigger and more threatening by the day, it might come up as a secondary issue.
“Look, the Asia Cup is in September and we are in February. But if it (coronavirus outbreak) gets out of control, then we have to be prepared for any eventuality. So the matter could be discussed as a secondary issue,” Mani told this paper.
The coronavirus so far has claimed more than 2,800 human lives apart from infecting over 83,000 people worldwide. The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) neighbour Iran has already reported eight deaths and 43 infections. Also, all major sports bodies including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Uefa are seriously thinking about the coronavirus impact, as they gear up for the Olympics and the Euro respectively this year.
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