Is Pakistan still in Asia Cup 2023?

Sri Lanka advanced to the Asia Cup 2023 final after beating Pakistan by two wickets in the Super Four match on Thursday, September 14 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. It means that Dasun Shanaka’s men will now face Rohit Sharma’s India in the final to be played on Sunday, September 17 at the same venue in Colombo.Starting with, Pakistan made as many as five changes to their playing XI. Things got worse as Imam-ul Haq and Saud Shakeel missed out due to back spasm and illness respectively. Fakhar Zaman and Abdullah Shafique got chances instead. Zaman Khan also made his ODI debut after Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah sustained injuries.

Shadab separated the duo after dismissing Nissanka, who scored 29 runs off 44 balls. Sadeera Samarawickrama, who has been among the standout batters of the tournament, stitched together a partnership of 100 runs with Mendis.

Samarawickrama scored 48 off 51 before Iftikhar accounted for his wicket. Mendis was looking good for his third ODI hundred before Iftikhar sent him packing. Mendis scored 91 runs off 87 balls with eight fours and one six.

With the match going down to the wire, Dasun Shanaka tried to go downtown off Iftikhar, but holed out to Mohammad Nawaz. With 20 runs needed off three balls, the onus was Charith Asalanka and the very experienced Dhananjaya de Silva to take Sri Lanka past the finish line.

Shaheen picked up two wickets and gave away only four runs in the penultimate over to keep Pakistan in the hunt. With eight runs needed off six balls, Zaman Khan tried his heart out.

In June 2020, following a meeting with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said they would be willing to let Sri Lanka host the 2020 Asia Cup,with India unwilling to travel to Pakistan. The ACC issued a press release following the meeting stating that “in light of the impact and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, possible venue options for the Asia Cup 2020 were discussed and it was decided to take the final decision in due course”.In July 2020, an official announcement of the postponement was made by the ACC.The 2020 edition was rescheduled to take place in Sri Lanka in June 2021.

In March 2021, the tournament was at risk of a further postponement after India qualified for the final of the World Test Championship, which clashed with the proposed dates in June.The tournament was postponed once again to 2023. In May 2021, the ACC announced that the 2021 tournament would be deferred to 2023, citing that it would be difficult to schedule the tournament due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on the scheduling of other cricket events.Pakistan was scheduled to host the 2022 Asia Cup after retaining the rights to host the 2022 edition. However, in October 2021, following a meeting with the ACC, Ramiz Raja confirmed that Pakistan would host the tournament in 2023, with Sri Lanka hosting the 2022 edition.

In October 2022, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary and ACC President Jay Shah announced that India would not travel to Pakistan, citing security concerns, and that the Asia Cup 2023 would take place in a neutral venue.  In December 2022, the then PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said that Pakistan might consider pulling out of the tournament if their hosting rights were withdrawn because of India’s unwillingness to travel to Pakistan.However, in January 2023, ACC confirmed the teams and groups of the tournament, with both India and Pakistan taking part.

In March 2023, it was proposed that Pakistan remain as hosts and that all India matches – including at least two India-Pakistan contests – would be played at a neutral venue yet to be confirmed. The hybrid model proposed by Pakistan was rejected by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In response, PCB Chairman Najam Sethi proposed two options. The first option was that India play all their matches at a neutral venue with Pakistan hosting the rest of the teams. The second option was that four matches in the group stage take place in Pakistan whereas the second phase, in which matches played by the Indian team followed by the next stage matches including the final, be played at a neutral venue. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh agreed to the second option.

On 15 June 2023, the Asian Cricket Council announced that the tournament would be organized in a hybrid model with four matches being held in Pakistan, and the remaining nine in Sri Lanka

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