CHENNAI   -  The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in its meeting in Singapore on Tuesday reasserted its decision to award the 2020 Asia Cup to Pakistan, casting serious doubts on the participation of defending champions India. The tournament, which may be organised in T20 format, will be held in September ahead of the World T20 in Australia.

It was also decided in the meeting that the tournament will be shifted to another venue if diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan do not improve. India had defeated Bangladesh in the final of the previous edition held in the United Arab of Emirates (UAE).

The ACC decided Pakistan will continue to be the hosts unless the situation demands otherwise. The venue can be changed as it was done a couple of years ago when the event was shifted from India to the UAE. India last played on Pakistan soil in 2008. The Mumbai terror attack later that year meant the tour turned out to be India’s last visit to the country.

Interestingly, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) led by Vinod Rai had written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to sever ties with countries from where terror emanates, putting a question mark over the much-anticipated match between India and Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup.

The request was made in the wake of the Pulwama attack in February. However, the ICC shot down the request. Ironically, the decision on Tuesday was made in the meeting which was attended by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. Apart from a decision on the Asia Cup, the ACC also reaffirmed its stand to include cricket in the 2022 Asian Games scheduled in Hangzhou, China.

A decision in this regard was made when the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) included cricket in the sports programme. The decision was taken at the OCA’s General Assembly in Bangkok in March last year. The sport is expected to be played in T20 format in the quadrennial event.