Hours after a controversial reserve day was added for the upcoming India versus Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 Super Four contest, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) stated that the precautionary measure was given the go-ahead by all four teams on Friday.
The tournament, marred by heavy rain in Sri Lanka, was scheduled to hold only one Super Four game in Pakistan (Pakistan vs Bangladesh) with the remaining games, including the final slated to be held at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
However, persistent rains in the capital city had cited the possibility of a shift in venue to Hambantota before the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) decided to stay put with Colombo.
In the group stages, the high-octane clash between India and Pakistan in Pallekele was the only match to witness a washout. The probability of another heavy spell of rain during their clash on Sunday prompted the organisers to add a reserve day on Monday. When the tournament fixtures were initially announced, only the final had a reserve day.
“If adverse weather suspends play during the Pakistan vs India game, the match will continue on 11th September 2023 from the point it was suspended,” stated the advisory, issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday, the tournament host.
“In such an eventuality, ticket-holders are advised to hold on to their match tickets which will remain valid and will be utilised for the reserve day.”
While the decision has come under the scanner, the BCB took to X (formerly Twitter) and said: “A reserve day for India Pakistan contest in Super 11 Asia Cup Super 4 stage has been added that effectively revised the Asia Cup playing condition. To clarify on the position, the decision was taken with the consent of all four participating teams and ACC..”
The development also came as a surprise for the head coaches of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – the two remaining teams in contention.
“I have not seen anything like this earlier. This is something new. It’s not ideal,” said Chandika Hathurusingha, the Bangladesh head coach, on Friday ahead of his team’s clash against Sri Lanka.
“We would love to have an extra day as well. Other than that I don’t have much to comment on because they (technical committee) have made a decision. There is a technical committee (in Asia Cup) represented by every participating country. They might have decided it with some other reason.”
Chris Silverwood, Hathurasingha’s Sri Lanka counterpart, was a little more conservative. “”Little surprised when I first heard, but at the same time we are not the organisers of the competition so not a lot we can do about that,” Silverwood said.
“To be honest, it will be a problem if the reserve day then provides points to the teams and not someone else, but nothing we can do about it, so we keep preparing and do the best we can.”