A cricket match between India and Pakistan can easily be termed as an equivalent for the whole Ashes series (for some) and an El Classico. The history between the two nations has always been reflected on the playing field but it’s been more than a decade since both nations have hosted each other or have a played a bilateral series.
While the reasons for the same are many, mostly political, we have witnessed an India vs Pakistan match is all ICC events like the Champions Trophy, T20 World Cup, Asia Cup and the 50-overs World Cup.
The last time we saw the two team battling each other out was in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, in which, while the Virat Kohli led squad emerged victorious by a huge margin in a group match but Pakistan had an upper hand in the finals, which saw them lifting the trophy for the first time ever.
With numbers still remaining to be settled, all the India vs Pakistan-fans were waiting for the Asia Cup 2018, where the two team, along with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka among others, will go head-to-head for Asian Glory.
For the unknown, Asia Cup 2018 will be hosted by India and it will be an ODI tournament which is to held in September, next year.
However, just like India lost the hosting rights of the U-19 Asia Cup 2017 due to the country’s reservation on playing with Pakistan, the same is expected for the Asia Cup 2018.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on the other hand, had recently filed a compensation claim of $70 million against BCCI which failed to honor the bilateral cricket agreement. Moreover, according to a report, BCCI officials believe that India might end up losing the hosting rights for Asia Cup 2018, if the board doesn’t reach an agreement with the government.
The BCCI official added, “Pakistani athletes were given visas to play in Asian Athletics Championships, but the Indian government says that the case here is a bit different, since cricket has an emotional connect with fans from both the countries. When we finally approached the government, we didn’t get any response, but we do need to decide fast as we need to inform the Asian Cricket Council soon. There are logistical, amongst several other issues, involved with hosting a tournament and the alternative country will need some time to sort them out.”
While Virat Kohli’s men are the reigning Asia Cup champions as the won the 2016 edition after defeating Bangladesh, Committee of Administrators (COA) has already said that the BCCI should inform the ACC if they are not in favor of hosting the tournament due to Pakistan’s inclusion so that an alternate host nation can be finalised.
Everything said and done, given the fact that the last Asia Cup was played in Bangladesh, it will be interesting to see which nation steps up to host this edition.
And most importantly, if there will finally be a breakthrough and the relations between India and Pakistan will be ignored for the sake of cricket?
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