The original hosts The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced on Thursday that Pakistan will split Asia Cup matches with Sri Lanka under a new “hybrid model” for the tournament, which begins on August 31.
The decision clears the way for Pakistan to compete in the upcoming 50-overs World Cup in India in October-November.
“The tournament will be held in a hybrid model, with four matches in Pakistan and the remaining nine matches in Sri Lanka,” the ACC stated in a statement.
India has ruled out visiting Pakistan due to strained political relations between the neighbors, who only face each other in multi-team events.
In response, Pakistan threatened to boycott the ODI World Cup in India if the Asia Cup was forced to be held in another country.
Najam Sethi, head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), congratulated the ACC for embracing what he called “the best solution” to the problem.
“This means that the PCB will remain as the event host and stage matches in Pakistan with Sri Lanka as the neutral venue, which was required due to the Indian cricket team’s inability to travel to Pakistan,” Sethi said in a statement.
“Our ardent supporters would have loved to see the India cricket team play in Pakistan for the first time in 15 years, but we understand the BCCI’s position.”
“Like the PCB, the BCCI also requires government approval and clearance before crossing borders.”
The final of the six-team competition is set for September 17.