“Player of the Tournament should be given to the pilot”

Salman Butt recently expressed disappointment over the ongoing 2023 edition of the Asia Cup being played as per a hybrid model in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The former Pakistan captain opined that teams have failed to register big scores during the competition due to the challenges of adapting to different venues. He sarcastically stated that the pilot should be awarded Player of the Tournament.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt remarked:

“Making adjustments according to the pitches and conditions takes time. This is a reason why we haven’t seen big totals in this Asia Cup. The travelling miles are more than the scores. One team is visiting Pakistan, and then they are going to Sri Lanka after one match. The Player of the Tournament should be given to the pilot.”

Notably, Pakistan had the hosting rights for this year’s ODI continental showpiece. However, a hybrid model was finalised after India were unwilling to travel to their neighbouring country owing to the political tensions between the two nations.

Pakistan eventually got to host just four games, with the remaining fixtures, including the final, scheduled to be played on Sri Lankan soil.

“They have made a joke of an international event” – Salman Butt on Asian Cricket Council

During the video, Salman Butt also slammed the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for failing to conduct the Asia Cup 2023 seamlessly. He suggested that it was a mockery of a big event.

The cricketer-turned-expert claimed that the players themselves would also be criticising the ACC for the fiasco. Butt added:

“All these are contracted players who will never speak against any boards. However, I believe that among themselves, they would be criticising the management. They went with a hybrid model when they knew what the forecast was going to be. At some venues, you complain about the heat, while at some, you have other concerns. They have made a joke of an international event. Everybody is failing to wrap their heads around it. There is no professionalism.”

It is worth mentioning that the Sri Lanka leg of the Asia Cup 2023 has suffered due to persistent rain in the country. The ACC later announced a reserve day for the upcoming Super Fours clash between India and Pakistan because of the weather forecast.

The game will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 10. It is the only game apart from the final to have a reserve day.

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