The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is facing heavy criticism for its decision to schedule the Asia Cup during the rainy season in Sri Lanka.
The former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee, Najam Sethi, expressed his disappointment when the highly anticipated match between Pakistan and India in the 2023 Asia Cup was called off due to rain at the Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Sethi, in a social media post, revealed that during his tenure he had strongly advocated for hosting the Asia Cup matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to avoid weather-related disruptions.
“How disappointing! Rain mars the greatest contest in cricket. But this was forecast. As PCB Chair, I urged the ACC to play in UAE but poor excuses were made to accommodate Sri Lanka. Too hot in Dubai, they said. But it was as hot when the Asia Cup was played there last time in Sep 2022 or when IPL was played there in April 2014 and Sep 2020. Politics over sport. Unforgivable,” Sethi posted on social media platform X.
How disappointing! Rain mars the greatest contest in cricket. But this was forecast. As PCB Chair, I urged the ACC to play in UAE but poor excuses were made to accommodate Sri Lanka. Too hot in Dubai, they said. But it was as hot when the Asia Cup was played there last time in…
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) September 2, 2023
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag also added a touch of humor to the situation, making a jest about holding the Asia Cup during the rainy season.
Baarish ke time toh Chai Pakode rakhte hain yaar.
Asia cup bhi rakh diya. #BHAvsPAK
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 2, 2023
Meanwhile, Pakistani fans expressed their frustration with the ACC’s decision to choose Sri Lanka as the venue, pointing out that Pakistan could have easily hosted the entire tournament without weather interruptions.
If Not for Indian government’s adamant, and send their team to Pakistan, the entire tournament would be held in Pakistan, we might have witnessed some great games there at Pakistan without any rain interruptions. Just see how friendly the players are.. But why their government?… pic.twitter.com/BIEkqZ76f1
— Nibraz Ramzan (@nibraz88cricket) September 2, 2023
The day was ruined as the Match was called off due to rain. There is only one guy to blame: Jay Shah. The SL board warned about Kandy weather and proposed Dambulla as an option. They didn’t take that, and neither did they want to Visit Pakistan to avoid rainy weather in Sri… pic.twitter.com/FdnYa840hg
— Mariya Rajput (@mariya_raj10) September 2, 2023
BCCI has unreal ego. Everything was set and perfect. Imagine calling the hosts to neutral venue, tiring up their schedules just for your pity ego! Imagine these matches in pakistan, no rain, no wastage of time!! Shameless
— c (@gayomarlic) September 2, 2023
It’s worth noting that Sri Lanka became a co-host for the 2023 Asia Cup after India declined to travel to Pakistan for the event. As a compromise, a hybrid model suggested by Sethi was adopted, with four matches of the Asia Cup 2023 being played in Pakistan and the remaining matches in Sri Lanka. This decision has now come under fire due to the weather-related disruptions that have plagued the tournament in Sri Lanka.