ASIA CUP, 2023
Jasprit Bumrah has returned home for personal reasons © AFP
Jasprit Bumrah has returned home for personal reasons, as confirmed by sources within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He is expected to miss the match against Nepal, a Group A fixture.
Considering that an Associate team is the opposition on Monday (September 4), and also taking into account the forecast for the day, which largely predicts wet weather, the team may not miss his services on the field. However, his exact return date is still unclear.
Those familiar with the situation insist that it is due to a personal exigency that he has returned to India, and it would be unfair to expect further details.
Nevertheless, he is likely to return sooner rather than later, making him potentially available for the next fixture, which is scheduled almost a week later on September 10. Evidently, he has taken permission from the BCCI.
As per the original schedule, India, should they qualify, are almost certain to face Pakistan in a Super Four encounter on that date. The other fixtures are likely on September 12 and 15, the opposition for which is still not decided. It will be two teams between Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The final will be on September 17 should India advance.
However, the schedule may undergo some alterations due to the current weather conditions in Colombo, the venue for the Sri Lanka leg of the Super 4 games and the final. Colombo is currently experiencing heavy rains, and the weather forecast for the next week is not very encouraging. Sources have revealed that efforts are being made to consider moving the games to Pallekele or Dambulla, where the weather is expected to be more favourable. A final decision is anticipated within the next two days from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the organisers of the Asia Cup.
Sri Lanka is not typically favoured as a cricket venue in September, but it was selected due to India’s decision not to travel to Pakistan, the designated hosts of the championship. Since the India-Pakistan game was washed out on Saturday, Najam Sethi, the former Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has been criticising the ACC, whose president is Jay Shah, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
In all fairness to the ACC, Colombo was selected as a venue only after careful consideration of the weather situation this month. When the schedule was announced in July, the prevailing weather patterns on the island were taken into account, and at that time, Colombo was predicted to experience clement weather.