ISLAMABAD: The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has withdrawn the hosting rights of the 2017 Under-19 Asia Cup from India and handed it over to Malaysia, following their annual general body meeting. A decision on the senior team Asia Cup, also scheduled to be held in India next year, however, has been deferred until the ACCâ€™s next meeting. The PCB had raised its objections to touring India for the Under-19 Asia Cup, which was to be played in Bengaluru in November. Given the tense political climate between India and Pakistan, PCB chairman Najam Sethi, who also heads the ACC, tabled a resolution to get it shifted. The BCCI had already written to the Indian government, seeking clearance to host the event as it would include a team from Pakistan. â€œThe matter of shifting the tournament to Malaysia was amicably agreed by all participants in the development and executive committees, since no one wanted it marred by security considerations of any member,â€ Sethi was quoted as saying.
The Western Region qualifying round for the Under-19 Asia Cup will be hosted by Kuwait, despite discussions around the venue following the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. The round will include Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain. According to Sethi, the nine teams in the Western Region pool will play each other, including Qatar as well as teams from countries that have broken diplomatic ties with it. In addition to that, Kuwait will also host the Under-16 Asia Cup, which was to be held in Qatar.
The tournament will feature eight teams, with four – Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – qualifying automatically. They will be joined by two teams each from the Western and Southern Region, who need to earn qualification into the main tournament. In 2016, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal and Afghanistan qualified, and India won the championship, beating hosts Sri Lanka by 34 runs in Colombo.