‘Is IND afraid to lose to PAK?’: Sethi blasts BCCI after Asia Cup clarification | Cricket

Rain has played a frustrating role in the Sri Lanka leg of the 2023 Asia Cup, sparking heavy criticism of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) over the scheduling of the event in the island nation, which receives heavy rainfall during this time of the year. ACC came under target especially after the much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan, the first ever in the ODI format since 2019, was washed out due to rain, leaving former PCB chief Najam Sethi to launch an attack on the organisation. ACC chief later issued a clarification over the matter after Colombo was retained as the venue for Super Four matches despite rain forecast, but Sethi did not stop taking a dig as he targeted the BCCI in his recent post on X.

Despite the post from Sethi, a senior Sri Lanka Meteorological Department official has predicted that the weather is likely to get better
Despite the post from Sethi, a senior Sri Lanka Meteorological Department official has predicted that the weather is likely to get better

In his first post on X, Sethi exposed his conversation with ACC officials revealing that he had urged them to accept UAE as the second host after BCCI had denied sending the Indian team to Pakistan for Asia Cup amid the political tensions between the two neighbouring countries. The former PCB chief, whose tenure ended after he stepped down form the post earlier this summer, further added that ACC had shut down his request explaining that the weather in UAE is hot as seen through the IPL seasons in 2014 and 2020.

He later posted another on the social media platform again amid reports claiming that ACC is deliberating a change in venue following heavy rainfall in Colombo over the last few days. The R Premadasa Stadium in the capital city of Sri Lanka is slated to host five Super Four games starting September 9, followed by the final. Sethi had later deleted the post.

While reports added that Hambantota would emerge as the likely venue amid PCB officials urging ACC to host those Super Four games in Pakistan before Colombo was retained its rights, ACC president Jay Shah also issued an official statement explaining the true reason behind UAE getting snubbed as the second host.

“The Asia Cup 2022 edition was played in the UAE in the T20 format. It’s important to emphasize that the dynamics of a T20 tournament cannot be directly compared to those of a 100-over One-day format,” Shah said, as quoted by PTI. “In this context, ACC members received feedback from their respective high-performance teams, expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in the month of September. Such a schedule could have potentially led to player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, particularly right before the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup.

“All the full members, media rights holder, and in-stadia rights holders were initially hesitant to commit to hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan. This reluctance stemmed from concerns related to the security and economic situation prevailing in the country,” Shah said.

On Wednesday, following Shah’s statement, Sethi took a dig at BCCI and ACC while questioning the logic behind Colombo retaining the right to stage the Super Four matches as he shared the weather forecast for the next week for both the capital city and Hambantota.

“BCCI/ACC informed PCB today that they had decided to shift next India-Pak match from Colombo to Hambantota because of rain forecasts. Within one hour they changed their mind and announced Colombo as the venue. What’s going on? Is India afraid to play and lose to Pakistan ? Look at the rain forecast!” he posted

Sri Lanka meteorological department predicts better weather

Despite the post from Sethi, a senior Sri Lanka Meteorological Department official has predicted that the weather is likely to get better in the coming days and Asia Cup would witness playing conditions for the Super Four ties.

“During this time of the year, which is the end of the southwest monsoon period, the southwestern part of Sri Lanka receives more rainfall. In the last two weeks, we witnessed more rain in the western province. The western province could receive a bit of rain, but after September 9, it would be sunny and cloudy but with very little rain,” Athula Karunanayake, the Sri Lanka Meteorological Department director-general, told PTI TV. “In the coming week, the western province could get a few showers but by September 17, the day the Asia Cup final will be played, rains are expected to subside.”

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