KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani is optimistic about hosting India in the Asia Cup in 2023 and hopes the political relations between the two neighbouring countries would improve by then.
Mani informed that Sri Lanka will host the Asia Cup in 2022, ruling out any chances of the continental event being staged this year in June.
“In 2022 Sri Lanka will have it (Asia Cup) and in 2023 Pakistan will be hosting the regional event. I am optimistic that by time the political relations between the two countries would have improved and this would pave the way for the Indian team to come to Pakistan,” Mani said.
“In recent days there has been some positive signs through backdoor channels and hopefully the ice will melt in the relations,” he told the ‘Jang’ newspaper in an interview on Wednesday.
Mani said if the Indian team visits its neighbours, it will be a “big breakthrough” for Pakistan cricket.
Mani further said that the Asia Cup 2021 is unlikely to be held as Pakistan doesn’t have the time for it due to PSL 6 matches and India will also be busy with the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
“Their is no question of the Asia Cup being held this year as we are very busy and don’t have time to spare this year.”
“There was a small window in June in which we are going to play the rest of the Pakistan Super League matches,” Mani said.
“The Indian team will play the final of the Test Championship against New Zealand. They have to go to England two weeks ago and stay in quarantine so the Indian team is also busy,” he added.
Mani said he hasn’t officially received any information on the reports of India sending its ‘B’ team for the Asia Cup.
“We have also heard about the Indian board wanting to send a B team to Asia Cup but no one has spoken about it to us.”
Mani said the revenue earned from the Asia Cup will be spend on promoting cricket in associate countries.
He said the Asian Cricket Council is guaranteed a proper income from the tournament only if all the teams take part in the regional competition.
Mani also disclosed that the ICC had assured the PCB about Pakistan’s participation in the World T20 this year in India.