The last edition of Asia Cup, held in the UAE in 2018, attracted huge audience in most of the matches while the two India-Pakistan league matches were played to a full house in Dubai. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The fate of Asia Cup cricket this year remains in a limbo with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) failing to arrive at a consensus over the likely window of hosting it in September-October. While the PCB, designated hosts this time, maintain Asia Cup will be held either around those two months, the BCCI has made it clear that the window doesnt suit them.

Speaking to the media recently on the Asia Cup, Wasim Khan, the CEO of PCB said: “The Asia Cup will go ahead. The Pakistan team returns from England on 2nd September so we can have the tournament in September or October. There are some things which will only get clear in the due course of time. We are hopeful of having the Asia Cup because Sri Lanka has not had too many cases of the Coronavirus. If they can’t do it, then UAE is also ready.”

The BCCI, who on the other hand are looking to create a bigger window for the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), feel that the ‘‘Asia Cup will be a struggle this year.’’ They are keeping an eye on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take a final call about hosting the T20 World Cup in October-November in Australia in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic - as a postponement of the ICC event will open up the necessary window for the IPL.

Incidentally, the ICC has decided to adopt a wait-and-watch policy before taking any decision on World T20 and have now postponed the decision till July. The world governing body will have a Board meeting on Thursday on conference call but it’s unlikely any formal announcement will come through.

Speaking to Gulf News from Colombo earlier this week, a senior official of Sri Lanka Cricket admitted that they have been requested by the PCB to keep themselves ready for the Asia Cup. ‘‘The PCB has asked us to prepare ourselves for the event and we are now in the process of taking necessary government clearances etc. However, there has been no formal meeting between us and the ACC on the subject. We have, incidentally, offered to host the IPL 2020 here quite sometime back,’’ said Mohan de Silva, secretary of SLC.

The BCCI has already made it clear that domestic matches and bilateral ties will be the area of focus for the Indian board when cricket resumes in the post-covid era. The international players’ community, including leading Australian players like David Warner and Pat Cummins, have time and again pointed that the IPL would be the best tournament to start proceedings once cricketing action resumes. The BCCI recently announced that tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe have been postponed due to the current situation with regards to the pandemic.

In a release, the board said: “The Indian cricket team will not travel to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe owing to the current threat of COVID-19. Team India was originally scheduled to travel to the island nation from 24th June 2020 for three ODIs and as many T20Is and to Zimbabwe for a series comprising three ODIs starting 22nd August 2020.