India decide not to tour Pakistan for Asia Cup, Ehsan Mani leaves matter to ACC

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Following BCCI’s decision of not sending Indian Cricket Team to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani on Saturday said that it entirely depends on Asian Cricket Council to decide the tournament’s venue.

According to Sportstar, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided not to travel to Pakistan for the upcoming Asia Cup citing security reasons. They have appealed to shift it to a neutral venue – the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – same as India did last time in 2018.

Ehsan Mani has made it clear that the Board will wait for the Asian Cricket Council meeting — scheduled to be held later this month or in early March — to get a clearer picture on the issue. “We will discuss the matter jointly, same as we decided last time (in 2018), when India had to host the Asia Cup in the UAE as they could not guarantee visas for Pakistan players,” Mani said.

Mani, who has previously headed the International Cricket Council, was confident that all the boards will take a collective decision “in the best interest of Asian cricket.”

“We are the host this time as per the Asian Cricket Council policies. This is an Asian Cricket Council event, and when we have the next meeting, we will collectively decide about it. It’s not about India or Pakistan, it’s the Asian countries as a whole, who will decide where the tournament will be hosted.

“We don’t have any issues with it. Had it been an India-Pakistan series, [it would have been a different matter]. It’s not that case. Here we will take a collective decision as responsible people, looking after Asian cricket,” said Mani.

He went on to say that in terms of the Asia Cup, it is entirely ACC’s matter. He said further matters will be revealed after the ACC meeting.

Responding to a question about return of cricket in Pakistan, he expressed that countries had been reluctant to visit Pakistan for a long time and for the last few years, there have been no reason to be reluctant. He said that when a team visit Pakistan, they in fact feel there is too much security, and Pakistan is one of the safest countries in the world.

While talking about the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 5 being held in the country for the first time, Mani said that over 425 overseas players applied for the draft and it in itself is a strong indication of how things are.