India won’t be touring Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023 

India and Pakistan players have bonded a lot over their recent outings in the Asia Cup

A controversy of sorts erupted on Tuesday when Jay Shah, who retained his post as the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) during the board’s election for its council, declared that the Indian cricket team will not be touring for the Asia Cup 2023 which Pakistan are slated to host. 

It must be remembered that Jay Shah, the son of India’s Home Minister Amit Shah from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is also the incumbent president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). 

The comments made by Jay Shah have raised questions as to where the tournament will now be organised given that the BCCI secretary added that the tournament has been held at neutral venues in the past, and declared that the Asia Cup 2023 will also be held at a neutral venue.

Jay Shah told the Indian media after the BCCI AGM in Mumbai on Tuesday that,

”The Asia Cup 2023 will be held at a neutral venue. I am saying this as ACC President. We [India] can’t go there [to Pakistan], they can’t come here. In the past also, Asia Cup has been played at a neutral venue.” 

The new BCCI council of president and former World Cup winner Roger Binny, treasurer Ashish Shelar, and the BCCI’s re-elected vice-president Rajiv Shukla were also present when Jay Shah made these comments to the media.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is certainly surprised at Jay Shah making such comments at the BCCI meeting and not at any other location. 

A strong response from Pakistan is being anticipated now given that the country has been able to host several top cricket teams such as England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand and are looking to host some big-ticket tournaments such as the Asia Cup 2023 as well as the ICC Champions Trophy 2025.

Additionally, if one has to read more into the comments made by Jay Shah, he claimed that like India cannot tour Pakistan, Pakistan will also not be touring India which means that the upcoming ICC events including the 50-over World Cup in 2023 — to be hosted by India — and the 2025 Champions Trophy matches between the two arch rivals will be in spotlight.

Meanwhile, PCB sources have expressed their surprise at the developments.

“The PCB officials are surprised at the timing of Jay Shah’s statement because there is still nearly a year to go before the Asia Cup is held in Pakistan in September 2023,”

a PCB source told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency. 

“The PCB is wondering in what capacity has Jay Shah given the statement that the ACC will look to relocate the Asia Cup to UAE out of Pakistan, because the hosting rights were awarded by the executive board of the ACC, not the president,”

the PCB source added.

The future will tell the fate of the matter but the recent development will certainly add more fuel to the fire which has already ignited with India and Pakistan now gearing up for their ICC T20 World Cup 2023 opener at Melbourne, to be played this Sunday.