Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is expected to shift the upcoming Asia Cup from Pakistan. A decision on an alternate venue will be taken next month in March as BCCI secretary Jay Shah and PCB chairman Najam Sethi discussed the issue during a formal meeting in Bahrain on Saturday.

As per reports, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with three venues -- Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah -- are favourites to host the tournament. However, the final decision in this regard has been withheld for the time being.

The Asia Cup was initially allotted to Pakistan and was scheduled to be held in September this year. However, ACC Chairman Shah announced last October that India will not travel to Pakistan due to diplomatic tension between the two nations.

Notably, Pakistan is currently going through a severe economic crisis. The inflation in the country is currently at an all-time high as one USD is now equal to 277 Pakistani Rupee. Organising a huge tournament like Asia Cup could burn a hole in PCB coffers further.

As per an ACC official, if the tournament will be held in the UAE, there is every possibility that all the member nations will also get a chance to earn apart from the broadcast revenues.

“With India deciding against travelling to Pakistan, the tournament will have to be shifted. A tournament without superstars like Virat Kohli and Rohit will have the sponsors back out. Hence UAE will be the best option as the venue,” said the official.