DHAKA - The next Asia Cup , slated to be held in September 2020 just a month before the World T20, will be hosted by the PCB. Whether this means that Pakistan will be the venue for the regional tournament is yet to be revealed. The next edition of the Asia Cup will be a T20 event, making it the second such event in the history of the tournament.

It is Pakistan’s security situation and relations with India that will decide whether the tournament is held in the country or at a neutral venue - which is likely to be the UAE, where Pakistan have been hosting their home cricket games since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009. Just recently, Dubai and Abu Dhabi hosted the 2018 Asia Cup , which strengthens the credentials of the UAE as a possible venue.

The relations between Pakistan and India are at the lowest ebb on both political and cricketing fronts. The two countries have only faced off each other in regional and international tournaments since a brief bilateral series in 2012-13. The PCB had also sought damages to the tune of USD 70 million from BCCI for not honouring the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two boards in 2014 to play six bilateral series over the course of eight years between 2015 and 2023. However, ICC’s Dispute Panel dismissed the case.

Incidentally, both the government and cricket administration in Pakistan are hopeful that the relations between the two neighbours will start returning to normalcy after the Indian general elections and the BCCI elections next year. Currently, Pakistan are the joint hosts alongside Sri Lanka for the ongoing Emerging Asia Cup . All the matches in Group B - which included Bangladesh, UAE, and Hong Kong, along with Pakistan - were hosted in Karachi over the course of four days.

Over the years, the board has made efforts to win the trust of the global cricketing community by opening its doors to international security teams and hosting PSL matches in Pakistan. The measures have been successful to a certain extent as Zimbabwe (in 2015), ICC World XI and Sri Lanka (in 2017), and the Windies (in 2018) have toured Pakistan. After holding three PSL matches across Lahore and Karachi this year, the board now plans to hold as many as eight PSL matches in the country next year.

“The 2020 Asia Cup will take place in Pakistan. They will tell us where we’ll be holding it, since they are the hosts. India hosted it last time, but it was held in the UAE,” Nazmul Hassan, ACC president, said.