Amid Asia Cup 2023 Uncertainty- ACC lashes out at PCB Chairman

Things are not settling anytime soon between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). Or it seems like so since it’s always one thing after the other. Even the change in PCB chairman didn’t cool things off instead a new front has been opened. As if the uncertainty surrounding Asia Cup 2023 wasn’t enough, the newly appointed chairman Najam Sethi recently took a dig at ACC president Jay Shah’s tweet about the calendar for 2023-2024. Here’s what happened between the two heads

The beef between ACC and PCB 

Najam Sethi criticized Jay Shah

Earlier in the week, Shah took to the bluebird to announce the schedule and the cricket pathway for the year 2023-2024 involving Asian teams. This did not go too well with the PCB chairman. In a quote tweet fully smothered in sarcasm, Najam Sethi accused him of ‘unilaterally’ finalizing the calendar and structure especially when Pakistan is to host the Asia Cup 2023 mega event. The PCB head claimed that he was not kept in the loop when the dates and schedules were being decided.

ACC lashes out at PCB chairman

The ACC was quick to respond to the claims. In a media release, claims of Sethi were falsified and it was clarified that the Asian council has followed all the rules and taken the right path before publicly presenting the calendar. “The ACC wants to clarify that it has followed established due process. The calendar was approved by its Development Committee and Finance & Marketing Committee in a meeting held on December 13th, 2022

Not only this, but the board accused PCB of not responding to the calendar sent to all members of the council. The statement read, “The calendar was then communicated to all the participating members individually, including Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), via an email dated December 22nd, 2022. While responses were received from certain Member Boards, no comments or suggested modifications were received from PCB. In view of the above, Mr. Sethi’s comments on a social media platform are baseless and are vehemently denied by the ACC.

It is important to note that the Development and Finance and Marketing Committee that is being talked about here has no representatives from Pakistan. Furthermore, the date of communication being suggested is one when the ex-chairman Ramiz Raja was overthrown and Sethi was officially announced as the new chairman. The change in power and the events that followed must have caused the concerned authorities to overlook the communicated calendar.

“No approvals through circular resolution”- PCB

The PCB stood its stance and nullified all the claims of members being informed of the schedule and said that the ACC’s press release further consolidates that the decisions were unilateral.

Speaking to a private source, PCB chairman Najam said that he is not angry but a little confused, they could have made a call to us. “I am not angry, I am confused,” he said. “They could’ve made one call to us, consulted with us. Doing these things unilaterally is not good when there is a council for it. As far as I am aware they didn’t consult anybody.”

What does this fiasco mean for Asia Cup 2023

The latest fiasco between the PCB and ACC heads isn’t good news especially when the latter is also the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The relationship between the two boards is already on the edge and the not-so-friendly banter that happened on Twitter will further widen the gap between the two. 

Things were already boiling between BCCI and PCB when Jay Shah announced that India would not be travelling to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023 and that a neutral venue will be decided. To this, the former chairman Ramiz Raja had sternly replied that no one can move the Asia Cup out of Pakistan and if India can’t come, the Pakistan cricket team will also not participate in the Cricket World Cup scheduled to be played later this year in India. 

Regarding neutral venues, the current PCB chairman’s views align with the former. “We will of course say this tournament should be in Pakistan. All countries have come to Pakistan. There are no issues now. There are no security issues now. [As for neutral venue] we will cross that bridge when we come to it. We will consult the government.”

One can only hope that this doesn’t escalate any further and that the relationship between the two boards including ACC becomes on the mend from now onwards and that no other feud arises.  

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