Coronavirus pandemic has hit the sporting action hard, and though most of it remained shut for a good couple of months, we have seen its resumption, especially football and local cricket leagues lately. While the first bit of international action will see West Indies face England, followed by Pakistan visiting the British, there is still uncertainty over marquee international events such as the T20 cricket and Asia Cup. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), original hosts of the Asia Cup 2020, however, are of a firm stand that the tournament will go ahead, albeit not in Pakistan.
The board is confident that the Asia Cup will go ahead is September and October, and have happily passed the baton of hosting to Sri Lanka with UAE being another viable option. Pakistan travel to England and would only return by September, post which the Board is confident about the event going ahead. If Asia Cup was to go ahead during this time, it would cast strong doubts over IPL, which has a tentative start date of 26th September, 2020. BCCI officials, though, are of the opinion that if the T20 World Cup isn’t going ahead, there is no point playing the Asia Cup either.
The PCB CEO Wasim Khan, on Tuesday, sounded confident about the tournament going ahead as planned with Sri Lanka being likely hosts, who haven’t been hit as hard by Coronavirus. UAE too has been kept on standby should things get disturbed in Sri Lanka.
“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,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the PCB CEO also informed about resumption of cricket with the England tour and the series thereon, with plans to host Zimbabwe before leaving for New Zealand near the end of the year.
“We are to go to New Zealand in December after hosting Zimbabwe at home. South Africa are ready to tour in January-February to play two or three Tests and some T20 matches,” Wasim Khan further added.