After BCCI president Sourav Ganguly reportedly confirmed Dubai as the new venue for the upcoming Asia Cup, his counterpart in Pakistan, the Pakistan Cricket Board president Ehsan Mani made a contradictory statement saying that nothing has been finalized yet. Mani said a final decision will be taken only after keeping the interest of all Asian countries in mind despite Ganguly making it clear that both India and Pakistan will play the Asia Cup in Dubai.
Mani also clarified that Dubai is not the only alternate venue even if Pakistan is not hosting the Asia Cup in September.
"The Asia Cup is organized for the benefit of the Associate Members. We will take a decision keeping that in mind. A final decision will be taken bearing in mind the interests of all the Asian countries. We have a few options," Mani, the PCB chairman, told the Indian Express.
The original hosting right of Asia Cup was with Pakistan but with BCCI expressing its reservations in letting the Indian team travel to Pakistan uncertainties loomed large over the venue of the Asia Cup 2020 till Friday night when Ganguly reported named Dubai as the alternate venue.
"Asia Cup will be held in Dubai and both India and Pakistan will play," the BCCI president told reporters at Eden Gardens, as quoted by PTI.
"Look, the Asia Cup is in September and we are in February. But if it (coronavirus outbreak) gets out of control, then we have to be prepared for any eventuality. So the matter could be discussed as a secondary issue," Mani added.
Interestingly in 2018 when BCCI had the hosting rights of Asia Cup, Pakistan had denied travelling to India and Dubai and Abu Dhabi were chosen as the alternate venue. India beat Bangladesh in the final to win that Asia Cup under Rohit Sharma's captaincy.
The final decision regarding the venue of Asia Cup 2020 is likely to be taken in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting at the Address Marina in Dubai on March 3 where both Ganguly and Mani are expected to be present.