The 2021 Asia Cup is in doubt as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to pull out from the tournament in order to create space in their international calendar for World Test Championship (WTC) final and bilateral series postponed last year due to the Covid-19, reported The Times of India.
India is still in the race for the WTC final, which is expected to take place in mid-June this year at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
India is placed at the top of the WTC points table with 430 points and 71.7 percentage win followed by New Zealand at the second spot with 420 points and 70 percentage win. The race for Top 2 is getting intense with Australia at third place with 69.2% and England at fourth with 65.2%.
“Further, the Asia Cup – even if it was scheduled – would’ve probably been played around the same time as the ICC Test Championship final. If India don’t make the final, the industry would’ve preferred the Asia Cup instead. Now, chance of such a thing happening look bleak so it’s a kind of catch-22 right now,” say those tracking developments.
“Australia and South Africa had initiated a battle for the Boxing Day some years ago, which Cricket Australia clearly won. That battle may resume, who knows? India will fight to keep its October-November window to play at home and ensure IPL gets a larger window. These are matters that’ll test the efficacy of the upcoming FTP,” the report further quoted sources as saying.
The 2020 Asia Cup was postponed last year and moved to 2021 with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) working towards securing June 2021 as a suitable window for the tournament.
Meanwhile, abandonment of the Asia Cup by BCCI can be a huge blow for broadcasters and the other cricket boards as the authorities and sponsors were looking forward to earning a whopping revenue from the highly-anticipated match between India and Pakistan that happens only during the Asia Cup or any ICC tournament.
Hence, in order to compensate the broadcasters, the BCCI is planning to reschedule their various postponed bilateral series from last year, as well as looking to host Sri Lanka for a possible series to make up for the absence of a tournament like the Asia Cup.
It may also be noted that the hosts for the Asia Cup 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), had exchanged hosting rights for the tournament with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Through this arrangement, the SLC will now host the rescheduled Asia Cup expected in June 2021 while the PCB will host the Asia Cup 2022.