Asia Cup has run into trouble. And that is not only because of the internal strife in Bangladesh and Pakistan’s reported refusal play in that country. There are more issues that are plaguing the biannual continental tournament. The tournament is tentatively scheduled to be held in Dhaka from February 24 to March 7.The Asian Cricket Council (ACC), that organises the tournament, has run out of a broadcaster. It had a 10- year deal with Nimbus but the Indian television company has apparently served a termination notice protesting the ACC decision to hold the tournament in Bangladesh for the second time in succession.
The ACC is now looking for a new broadcaster. Sources have revealed that the ACC and Nimbus could get into a legal fight over advance of about Rs 40 crore paid to the association towards the Asia Cup.
Nimbus seems to be contending that it is not commercially viable for broadcasting a tournament from the same country twice and has demanded the tournament be shifted preferably to India and, if not, to Sri Lanka. For the record, the last edition of the tournament was held in Bangladesh, where, incidentally, Sachin Tendulkar had got his 100th international century.
That is a different story though. India has refused to host the tournament despite the impending danger to the event in view of the political unrest in the country and also because of the issues with broadcasting. In fact, India has not hosted the event since 1990-91. By the way, N Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is also the chairman of the ACC.
Srinivasan himself has refused to comment but chief executive of ACC Syed Ashraful Haq said the council has called for fresh tenders for a new broadcaster. He has ruled out a postponement of the tournament but said a change of venue could be considered. Sri Lanka, at this stage, looks the only option but Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is apparently trying hard to provide the best possible security for the players.
The elections in Bangladesh will be over on January 5 and the BCB is hoping that normalcy will be restored post that the hustings. The problem with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which has refused to play in Bangladesh, is that the country’s foreign office has expressed concerns over hostilities towards Pakistan in Dhaka.
The PCB is adopting a wait-and-watch policy and has not yet written a formal letter to the ACC stating its reservations to play in Dhaka. Some clarity could emerge in the first week of January when ACC is expected to meet in Colombo.
WORLD T20 IN TROUBLE TOO: The World Twenty20 is slated to be held in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6 but there is speculation that the event could be moved out. The ICC is not yet talking about it but suggestions have been made that the event be shifted to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Even South Africa is being tipped as a possible venue. The final word is yet to be pronounced. Watch this space. – PuneMirror.in via Google
Asia Cup runs into multiple troubles