Zaka Ashraf, who is all set to return as the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Chief has called the hybrid model for Asia Cup an injustice to Pakistan. The chairman-designate of PCB was in media interaction on Wednesday and he wants the Asia Cricket Council (ACC) to review their decision of hosting the forthcoming Asia Cup 2023 in two countries.
Expressing his disagreement with the decision, he said that injustice has been done to Pakistan. As quoted by Cricbuzz, Ashraf said, "According to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the tournament should be held entirely in Pakistan. But major matches are played elsewhere, and only minor teams like Nepal play in Pakistan. Injustice has been done to Pakistan." Ashraf is set to retake his post as he was nominated for the body’s Board of Governors (BoG) by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday. However, elections are yet to take place.
Ashraf added, "I will try to do what is in the best interest of Pakistan within the shortest possible time. There are many pending issues, and I am not delving deep into the matter since I haven't officially taken over."
As the decision has been made, we have to go with it: Ashraf
The returning PCB Chief later said that since the decision has been made, Pakistan would have to go with it. However, the 70-year-old also said that the future decisions will be taken in the country's best interest. ESPNCricinfo quoted Ashraf saying, "In my personal opinion, this whole hybrid model isn't beneficial for Pakistan, and I didn't like it. Being a host, Pakistan should have negotiated better to make sure that the entire tournament should have played in Pakistan. Sri Lanka taking the bigger lot of games, leaving Pakistan with only four games, isn't in the best interest of our country."
Ashraf added, "But I see the decision has been made, so we have to go with it. I will not block or have any intention not to comply with the decision. I cannot do much about it but to honour the commitment. But going forward, every decision we make will be made for and in the interest of the country."
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) denied sending Indian players to Pakistan for the mega-continental tournament citing security issues. The PCB Chairman Najam Sethi then suggested a hybrid model, and with that, the ACC approved of hosting the Asia Cup in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. According to the model, four games of the upcoming tournament will be held in Pakistan, whereas nine in Sri Lanka.