In less than 24 hours after he had officially “rejected” the ‘Hybrid Model’ for the Asia Cup after Asian Cricket Council’s formal nod, Pakistan Cricket Board’s soon-to-be chairman Zaka Ashraf did a complete ‘volte-face’ by accepting the four matches awarded to the original hosts.
The Hybrid Model by virtue of which Asia Cup will be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka will have India playing all their games, including two against the arch-rivals in the island nation.
The model was proposed by Ashraf’s predecessor and bete noire Najam Sethi and the banker, who will take over the reins of PCB on June 27 had “rejected” the idea during a media conference.
It has been learnt that Ashraf didn’t know that PCB chief Sethi had already been a signatory to ‘Hybrid Model’ which has been passed by the all-powerful ACC Executive board headed by BCCI supremo Jay Shah and the decision can’t be reversed.
Pakistan Cricket Board could have faced punitive action if Ashraf without full details of the event would have created a roadblock.
“In my personal opinion, this whole hybrid model isn’t beneficial for Pakistan and I didn’t like it,” Ashraf was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
“Being a host, Pakistan should have negotiated better to make sure that the entire tournament should have been played in Pakistan. Sri Lanka taking the bigger lot of games, leaving Pakistan with only four games, isn’t in the best interest of our country,” he added.
Ashraf then admitted that he didn’t know full details and did a complete U-turn.
“But I see the decision has been made, so we have to go with it. I will not block or have any intention not to comply with the decision. I cannot do much about it but to honour the commitment. But going forward, every decision we make will be made for and in the interest of the country.”