The Asia Cup 2023 stirred up controversy when the host nation, Pakistan, found its name conspicuously absent from the participating teams’ jerseys. The tournament commenced with Pakistan taking on Nepal in Multan on August 30, where they secured a resounding victory. However, fans and former cricketers swiftly noticed an unusual omission on the team jerseys – the absence of the host country’s name alongside the Asia Cup logo. This glaring oversight was also noted during the Group B match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as their jerseys likewise lacked the name of the host nation.
Images of jerseys from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh went viral, prompting disappointment among fans. Some fans pointed out that Sri Lanka’s name was included below the Asia Cup logo in the previous edition, despite the tournament being held in the UAE, as Sri Lanka was the original host.
Pakistan’s status as the official host, despite the tournament being played in a hybrid model alongside Sri Lanka, emerged after India expressed reservations about traveling to Pakistan.
Former Pakistani cricketers, including Rashid Latif and Mohsin Khan, criticized the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Asia Cricket Council (ACC) for failing to rectify the jersey issue. Latif described the situation as “unacceptable” and insisted that the ACC should clarify the oversight since the Asia Cup is their property.
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The PCB attempted to downplay the situation, explaining that the ACC had decided after last year’s Asia Cup that the host country’s name would not appear with the Asia Cup logo in future events. However, this explanation failed to quell the concerns of former Pakistan players and fans. Questions were raised about why the PCB had agreed to such a decision, especially since Pakistan was hosting a multi-team event for the first time in 15 years.
Former Test batsman Mohsin Khan questioned the inconsistency in the ACC’s approach, citing events like the Asian Emerging Nations Cup and the Asian under-16 event, both of which displayed the host country’s name on their logos.
One former player, who chose to remain anonymous, speculated that Jay Shah, the President of the ACC and secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), might have played a role in Pakistan’s omission from the official logo. Given the current political scenario between the two countries, it was suggested that the BCCI may have found it embarrassing for the Indian team to wear kits featuring Pakistan’s name on the official Asia Cup logo.
Rashid Latif did not dismiss this possibility, emphasizing the need for clarification on the matter, which he deemed embarrassing.