Srinagar: Continues his online tirade against Asia Cricket Council (ACC), led by Jay Shah, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairmain Najam Sethi has said that , ‘India is afraid to play and lose against Pakistan’.
The ongoing Asia Cup 2023 fixtures in Sri Lanka have been affected by rain. Already couple of matches have been marred by the rain while as forecast doesnt look too pretty either.
Earlier several media reports stated that the ACC, is likely to shift the venues of Super Four matches from Colombo to Hambantota to avoid any rain interruption. But on Tuesday, the ACC informed the stakeholders stating that the tournament will go on as initially scheduled – all games to be played in Colombo.
The sudden change in decision irked Sethi who lashed out at the Shah-led ACC, asking if India is afraid of losing to Pakistan.
“BCCI/ACC informed PCB today that they had decided to shift next India-Pak match from Colombo to Hambantota because of rain forecasts. Within one hour they changed their mind and announced Colombo as the venue. What’s going on? Is India afraid to play and lose to Pakistan ? Look at the rain forecast,” Najam Sethi posted on X (Twitter).
Earlier on Tuesday, ACC president Jay Shah issued a lengthy statement on venue selection for the ongoing Asia Cup and why the UAE wasn’t an ideal choice.
“All the full members, media rights holders, and in-stadia rights holders were initially hesitant to commit to hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan. This reluctance stemmed from concerns related to the security and economic situation prevailing in the country,” Shah said in a statement.
“In my capacity as ACC President, I was committed to finding a viable and mutually agreeable solution. To this end, I had accepted the hybrid model that was proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in collaboration with the ACC management”.
“However, it’s important to note that the leadership of the PCB underwent several changes, and this resulted in some back-and-forth negotiations, particularly regarding crucial aspects such as tax exemption and insurance for matches,” it added.
Shah further explained the concerns about playing ODI matches in UAE in the month of September, adding that there was an “increased risk of injuries” and no ACC member was willing to take that chance before the World Cup.
“The Asia Cup 2022 edition was played in the UAE in the T20 format. It’s important to emphasize that the dynamics of a T20 tournament cannot be directly compared to those of a 100-over One-day format. In this context, ACC members received feedback from their respective high-performance teams, expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in the month of September. Such a schedule could have potentially led to player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, particularly right before the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup,” explained Shah.