‘Oz tour of SL crucial to decide Asia Cup fate’

Pankaj Khimji, who was recently elected as vice-president of the Asian Cricket Council, said the SL v Australia series will give them a fair idea whether the Asia Cup can be held in Sri Lanka


Pankaj Khimji, vice-president of the Asian Cricket Council






The ongoing Australia’s tour to Sri Lanka is of utmost importance to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) officials. For, it will decide the fate of the Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in the troubled island in August-September. 

Australia are touring Sri Lanka, which is embroiled in protests over the severe economic crisis in the country, for three T20Is, five ODIs and two Tests. 

Pankaj Khimji, who was recently elected as vice-president of the Asian Cricket Council, said the SL v Australia series will give them a fair idea whether the Asia Cup can be held in Sri Lanka. 

“The first 10 days of the [Australia v Sri Lanka] series will tell you whether it [Asia Cup] is happening normally or not,” Khimji, the chairman of Oman Cricket, told mid-day during a chat at the Al Amirat Stadium here recently. 

‘SL board will take a call’

Khimji said the Sri Lanka cricket board will finally take a call on hosting the Asia Cup. “We have left it to Sri Lanka to decide since they are the hosts. Like, India was the host of the last T20 World Cup and they moved it to UAE and Oman [due to rising COVID-19 cases]. They feel confident that they will make it happen. As long as there is no trouble with regard to security, the tournament will happen. Logistics is the only major concern,” added Khimji, who successfully hosted the first-round matches of the T20 World Cup last year.  

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Meanwhile, the ACC is planning to have an Asia Cup for women, a first in its history. “Broadcasting [revenue] is getting bigger and bigger and being in Asia and in the subcontinent, there is a lot of optimism going forward,” Khimji said. 

New revenue-sharing model

He hinted that ACC president Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, is working on a new revenue-sharing model with more funding channelised towards the development of associate Asian nations. “With Jay coming in, the ACC is ready to invigorate, take a new platform and provide new wings. As we speak, we are considering various options on how to fill up a three-year calendar. We are working hard, thinking afresh and starting on a blank canvas. The ACC should be of benefit to the associate Asian countries,” said Khimji, who plans to build three new stadiums in his region in the next five years.







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