The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi will have a golden opportunity to meet the Asian Cricket Council(ACC) President Jay Shah in Dubai at the inaugural ceremony of the International League T20 (ILT20) which will be held on 12th January 2024, Thursday.
Jay Shah who is also the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary is likely to attend the ceremony himself, and Najam Sethi will not want to miss this opportunity to clear the confusion about the hosting rights of Asia Cup 2024 which will be held in the month of September in Pakistan. The Emirates Cricket Board has invited the top dignitaries of all the reputed cricket boards to attend the function. But the BCCI has not issued any formal statement on whether it would allow any of its officials to attend the function in Dubai.
As per the schedule which was formulated by the ACC in its latest meeting, the next edition of the Men’s Asia Cup tournament in September 2024 is supposed to be organized by Pakistan. In the 91st Annual General Meeting of the BCCI which was held in October 2022, Jay Shah out of the blue publicly announced that India will want the Asia Cup 2024 to be shifted to a neutral venue and the decision of the Indian Cricket Team to travel to Pakistan is at the discretion of the Indian Government. Roger Binny, the newly elected coach of the Indian team also confirmed this decision.
Hearing this statement, the then PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja got disappointed and argued that Pakistan had won the hosting rights of the Asia Cup 2024 fair and square. He also tried to threaten the BCCI, by warning that if the Indian cricket team does not participate in the Asia Cup, the Pakistan team will boycott the World Cup 2024 which is going to be held in India just one month after the Asia Cup 2024.
Ramiz claims that the decision of the BCCI to not send the Indian team to Pakistan will result in the PCB incurring huge financial losses in the form of broadcasting revenue since the rivalry between India and Pakistan is the greatest in the world and people are glued to their televisions to watch it.
The Current Scenario
The PCB feared that Ramiz Raja was not handling the situation correctly and was convinced that he would not be successful in bringing the hosting rights of the ‘Asia Cup 2024’ and ‘ICC Champions Trophy 2025’ back to Pakistan.
So the officials sacked him and Najam Sethi who has succeeded to become the new PCB Chairman is working his heart out to ensure that the Asia Cup is held in Pakistan itself. He will try to improve his relationship with the other ACC members who will be attending the ILT 20’s inaugural function in Dubai on Thursday.
Najam Sethi who has also been the ACC Chairman before believes that the support of the other members of the ACC will be beneficial for Pakistan to be able to convince the BCCI to participate in the Asia Cup and gain their trust that Pakistan is a safe country and capable of hosting the Asia Cup.
But the paramount question still remains a mystery: whether Jay Shah will be willing to have a word with Najam Sethi in person about this matter.