IPL 2023: Presidents of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan boards invited to attend final, discuss Asia Cup status

May 26,2023

Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium will not only witness Chennai Super Kings (CSK) battle it out for the glittering trophy against either current holders Gujarat Titans (GT) or Mumbai Indians (MI), it will also play host to intense negotiations and discussions between board representatives on the topic of this year’s Asia Cup.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah, after all, has invited the presidents of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to attend the IPL final that takes place on Sunday, 28 May and to take discussions on the continental tournament ahead on the sidelines of the summit clash.

It is interesting to note here that Shah’s invitation wasn’t accorded to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi. Pakistan was originally awarded hosting rights for this year’s Asia Cup, which returns to the 50-over format, but India’s reluctance to travel to the country has since cast a shadow over the tournament.

“The respective presidents of the Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka Cricket Boards will grace the Tata IPL 2023 final to be held on May 28 at the Narendra Modi Stadium. We will hold discussions with them for outlining the future course of action in relation to Asia Cup 2023,” BCCI secretary Shah said on Thursday,

While cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan through bilateral tours, with teams such as Australia, England and New Zealand also travelling to the country that had become a no-go zone after the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, the upcoming Asia Cup was supposed to be their first multi-nation tournament since the 2008 edition of the same tournament.

The BCCI however have refused to travel to Pakistan citing security concerns and political tensions with their neighbours, and has since suggested hosting the tournament on a neutral venue, with Sri Lanka and UAE being the most likely candidates.

PCB chief Sethi then offered the “hybrid solution” of hosting part of the tournament in a neutral venue such as the UAE and retaining hosting rights for the rest of the tournament. The ‘hybrid solution’ however, drew objections from SLC and BCB, who cited travel and logistical complexities in shuttling between two nations in such a short window.

According to recent reports, the tournament is likely to shift entirely to Sri Lanka from Pakistan. Sri Lanka were supposed to host last year’s edition, which took place in the T20 format, only for the tournament to be shifted to the UAE due to a political crisis in the island nation. SLC however, retained hosting rights for the tournament, which was won by the ‘home team’.