Sub-continent Boards refuse to back Pak bid to host Asia Cup

Karachi: Pakistan’s isolation in international cricket continues with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh refusing to support the country’s bid to secure hosting rights for the 2012 Asia Cup at a recent meeting of
the Asian Cricket Council in Dhaka.

According to sources, PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt and Sultan Rana, who represented Pakistan at the ACC executive council meeting, had offered to host the 2012 event at a neutral venue and suggested Dubai.

“But they met with stiff resistance from particularly the Indians who made it clear they were not willing to play at a venue which had in the past had suspicions raised about it,” one source said.

”The Indian contention was that in the past, cricket in the UAE had been linked to fixing and gambling and they could not accept it as a neutral venue,” the source added.

He said Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had also not backed Pakistan’s plea and eventually it was decided that Bangladesh would host the event in Mirpur in 2012.

“Apparently China was never seriously discussed as a possible venue for the Asia Cup as the PCB representatives insisted that it didn’t have the required international facilities to host such a major event so soon,” the source said.

Pakistan had successfully hosted the Asia Cup in 2008 but since then security issues and an attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore has led to foreign teams refusing to play here and the PCB being forced to play its “home” matches at neutral venues.

Interestingly, the three Asian board -- India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- also didn’t support or come to Pakistan’s rescue when the ICC decided to strip Pakistan of the right to host the 2011 World Cup matches after the attack on the Sri Lankan team.

PCB chief Ejaz Butt, on returning home, after attending the meeting claimed that the PCB had no differences with the Bangladesh Cricket Board and negotiations were on to organize a one-day series against Bangladesh next year.