Asia Cup 2023: Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has slammed the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for scheduling a reserve day exclusively for India vs. Pakistan match during the 2023 Asia Cup Super 4 stage. The provision ensured that the match spanned two days due to this provision.
Reserve day allotted only for IND vs PAK clash
India’s 228-run triumph propelled them into the final, whereas Pakistan subsequently suffered a defeat against Sri Lanka and were eliminated from the Asia Cup. Without the reserve day, India and Pakistan would have split the points due to a rain-induced washout on the initial day of the match, potentially leading to India’s elimination as they had lost to Bangladesh in their last Super 4 encounter.
India fielded substitute players against Bangladesh, and if it had been a must-win match, they might have deployed a full-strength squad, potentially yielding a different outcome. However, the key concern is that having a reserve day for just two teams and one match establishes an unsettling precedent in international cricket.
Ranatunga slams ICC and ACC
Ranatunga criticized the ICC for its lack of influence over such decisions, which he believes put other teams at a disadvantage. Ranatunga, who had a distinguished career playing 93 Tests and 269 ODIs for Sri Lanka from 1982 to 2000, also expressed criticism towards former cricketers who choose not to voice their opinions against the ICC and ACC.
He said, “ICC is a toothless tiger. They act very unprofessionally. I think they are the ones who should protect cricket. Ultimately cricket should be controlled by ICC and not by a country. In Asia Cup, you had rules and you changed rules for one game. So where is ACC? Where is ICC?” He further added, “I am not very comfortable when you have a tournament, where you change rules for one team. You are looking at a disaster in the future.”
He also added, “Why do the other countries allow that (poor scheduling) to happen? Because the BCCI is powerful, or one particular person is powerful. No, it can’t happen like that. They should have given an extra day for all the games if that was the case.”