The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been granted the rights to host the 2020 edition of the Asia Cup by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
The tournament will be a T20 event featuring Asian countries and is slated to be held in September, a month ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup. After the 2016 edition, this will be only the second time in the tournament's history that it will be a T20 affair.
According to the Dhaka Tribune, the decision was announced in the Bangladesh capital, with ACC President Nazmul Hassan Papon saying, "The next Asia Cup will be hosted by Pakistan, and the hosting right belongs to them. Where they will host the tournament, it's up to them. India hosted it last time, but it was held in the UAE."
This announcement has cast a serious doubt regarding India's participation in the tournament as relations between Pakistan and India are at a low ebb, both cricketing wise and politically. The two countries only play each other in multi-nation tournaments and have not faced each other in any bilateral series since 2012.
Cricketing relations further soured when PCB sought compensation amounting to Rs 447 crore from BCCI for not honouring the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two boards in 2014 to play six bilateral series over the course of eight years between 2015 and 2023. However, ICC's Dispute Panel dismissed the case and it was reported that the BCCI filed a claim for counter compensation.
Earlier this year, for the first time in 35 years, BCCI didn't send its representative for the ACC's Annual General Meeting in Lahore due to "security concerns" and existing political tension between neighbouring nations.
"BCCI had conveyed to the PCB and ACC it was not in a position to attend the meeting due to existing political situation and security concerns. It is for the first time in the ACC history in 35 years that India has not attended a General Body meeting," Hindustan Times had reported a PCB source as saying.
It has been learnt that the ACC was considering India as the hosts of the tournament in 2020. However, India's inability to host Pakistan, due to the political scenario, saw them lose out on the hosting rights. On the other hand, Pakistan does not mind hosting India. But the Indian side might not travel to play on Pakistani soil due to "security reasons."
In this scenario, PCB has to either decide UAE as the venue for the tournament in 2020 or lose out on India's participation and the massive financial cream that comes with it.