Asia Cup 2021: India unlikely to participate as BCCI plans to host home series – Report

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Asia Cup 2021: India is unlikely to participate in the Asia Cup which is scheduled to be held later this year, according to a report by Times of India. The tournament, which was deferred last year due to the pandemic is once again crisis.

“Further, the Asia Cup – even if it was scheduled – would’ve probably been played around the same time as the ICC Test Championship final. If India don’t make the final, the industry would’ve preferred the Asia Cup instead. Now, chance of such a thing happening look bleak so it’s a kind of catch-22 right now,” say those tracking developments, reported TOI.

“Australia and South Africa had initiated a battle for the Boxing Day some years ago, which Cricket Australia clearly won. That battle may resume, who knows? India will fight to keep its October-November window to play at home and ensure IPL gets a larger window. These are matters that’ll test the efficacy of the upcoming FTP,” the report further quoted sources as saying.

Postponement of another Asia Cup will result in broadcasters sweating because it puts the fan favourite and financially benefitting ‘India versus Pakistan’ clash in jeopardy.

Outside ICC event, and in the present situation between the two nations at the border, the Asia Cup is the only tournament which guarantees a match between India and Pakistan.

To help the broadcasters, BCCI in all likelihood plan cricket at home. The South Africa white-ball series against India which was abandoned in March due to COVID-19, New Zealand tour of India, which was scheduled in 2019, and a series between India and Sri Lanka are a possibility in absence of Asia Cup.

For BCCI, the biggest challenge is to fit in the domestic calendar along with an IPL 2021 season and the T20 World Cup.

The Indian cricket board for now has reportedly decided not to host Ranji Trophy this season, while the Vijay Hazare will be held in February. BCCI is also planning to hold a women’s T20 competition next month.