In a series of tweets, Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi has hit out at BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who also leads the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), and vented his frustrations regarding the selection of venues for the Asia Cup cricket matches.Pointing out the weather and current rains in Sri Lanka, which have caused delays in the Asia Cup 2023 schedule, Sethi revealed that he had urged the ACC to play the remaining matches of Asia Cup in UAE instead of Sri Lanka. But the Council stuck to island nation as they felt the weather would be too hot in Middle East county.“I pleaded for three approvals in various meetings with Jay Shah and ACC colleagues: Play all matches in Pakistan as international cricket had fully returned to Pakistan. When this was shot down I proposed that we play five matches in Pakistan and eight in the UAE. This also they rejected and hinted at giving the Asia Cup hosting rights to Sri Lanka if we didn’t budge,” Sethi wrote on X.
“Finally, after we said we might not participate, they scheduled four matches in Pakistan and posted the rest in Sri Lanka. We repeatedly pointed out that the rains forecast in SL would adversely impact match results and diminish crowds at stadiums. We also argued that gate receipts from UAE stadiums would be many times more than those in SL given economic considerations,” he added.
“When Mr Shah didn’t agree, a high level delegation of the Emirates Cricket Board flew to Mumbai to persuade BCCI to play the Asia Cup in UAE as in the past when two IPLs and one ACC ODI event was played there in the same weather conditions. BCCI refused to accept their request. Only Mr Shah can explain why these options were rejected and why Sri Lanka was accommodated against all reason, logic, and rationality. The choice of venues in Sri Lanka was also problematic as we have seen,” he further added.
Sri Lanka are the defending Asia Cup champions in the UAE after they beat Pakistan in the final.