Asia Cup 2023: Jasprit Bumrah's sudden return to India raises questions ahead of Nepal clash
Jasprit Bumrah, a prominent figure in Indian cricket, has taken an unexpected leave of absence, citing personal reasons. This development has been officially confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), leaving fans and cricket enthusiasts curious about the implications for the upcoming Group A match against Nepal, scheduled for Monday, September 4.
Jasprit Bumrah has returned to India for personal reasons, a confirmation provided by sources affiliated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It is expected that he will not be available for the upcoming match against Nepal, a Group A fixture scheduled for Monday, September 4. Given that the opposing team on Monday is an Associate team, and factoring in the weather forecast, which predicts wet conditions for the day, Bumrah's absence on the field may not significantly affect the team's performance. However, the exact date of his return remains uncertain.
Those in the know of the situation emphasize that Bumrah's departure is due to personal matters, and it would be unfair to seek further details. Nonetheless, it is likely that he will return relatively soon, making him potentially eligible for the subsequent fixture, scheduled for almost a week later on September 10. Evidently, Bumrah has obtained permission from the BCCI for his absence.
According to the original schedule, if India qualifies, they are highly likely to face Pakistan in a Super Four match on that date. The other fixtures are expected to take place on September 12 and 15, with the opposition yet to be determined, comprising two teams from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. If India advances, the final is slated for September 17.
However, the schedule may undergo adjustments due to the current adverse weather conditions in Colombo, where the Super Four games and the final are supposed to be held. Colombo is currently experiencing heavy rainfall, and the weather forecast for the next week does not appear favourable. Sources indicate that efforts are being made to consider relocating the games to Pallekele or Dambulla, where the weather is expected to be more favorable. A final decision is anticipated from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the organizers of the Asia Cup, within the next two days.
Sri Lanka is not typically favoured as a cricket venue in September, but it was selected as the venue due to India's decision not to travel to Pakistan, the originally 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 critical of the ACC, whose president is Jay Shah, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
In fairness to the ACC, Colombo was chosen as a venue after careful consideration of the weather conditions for 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 expected to experience favourable weather.