Former Pakistan cricketer, Shahid Afridi, has criticized the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for allegedly making excuses regarding their participation in the Asia Cup matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Media reports have suggested that Bangladeshi players are unwilling to play the tournament in UAE due to concerns about the scorching September weather there.
Afridi’s comments came after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to send its team to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup. In an attempt to break the deadlock, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) proposed a hybrid model for the tournament, which involves dividing it into two phases. The initial phase would be conducted in Pakistan, excluding India, while the second phase would be held in the UAE.
Speaking about the reported concerns over the weather, Afridi emphasized that professional cricketers should not base their decision to play on weather conditions alone.
“You don’t play depending on weather when you are professional cricketers. We have played matches at Sharjah at 10 am in the morning. We used to feel dizzy when going towards the boundary line. It used to be so hot. These things happen but it also tests your fitness level,” Afridi said on a local TV channel.
“If you want make an excuse then you can come with anything like it is too hot in UAE. I think these are excuses,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to an Indian media report, Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary and ACC chairman, has made it clear to the other countries that they will not accept Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) suggested “hybrid model.” Shah recently discussed this with the heads of member nations and proposed that the tournament should take place at a single venue, specifically Sri Lanka.
The report further added that Pakistan will be informed during the next executive board meeting of the ACC that all other participating nations have agreed to play in Sri Lanka.
The PCB, as the designated hosts, will have to comply and play in Sri Lanka or withdraw. In that case, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan will be the four teams participating, with the inclusion of a fifth team yet to be decided.