Asia Cup set to move to UAE from Sri Lanka as protests continue to rage island nation

Although ACC has intended to keep the tournament in Colombo as it would help the tourism and hotel sector in Sri Lanka immensely, the current situation hasn’t helped its cause.

Published: 18th July 2022 09:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2022 09:51 AM   |  A+A-

Policemen stand guard outside the parliament building in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The upcoming edition of the Asia Cup to be played in August-September is on the way out of Sri Lanka.

With the economic situation worsening in the Island nation which has led to a shortage of fuel and other essentials, the Asian Cricket Council, following a request from Sri Lanka Cricket, has decided to change the venue for the event beginning on August 27.

As things stand, SLC has proposed to host the event in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and talks are underway to organise the first round of matches in Sharjah and the next round of matches and the knockouts in Dubai.

Alternatively, Bangladesh which was ACC’s Plan B to host the tournament is still kept on standby and it is understood that official confirmation will come over the next few days.

Over the past month-and-a-half, Australia travelled to the Island nation for a full-fledged tour and currently, Pakistan are playing Sri Lanka in a Test at Galle.

However, the crisis in Sri Lanka has been only getting worse every week and there is a huge shortage of fuel in the country, which has led to SLC expressing its inability to host the event.

Although ACC has intended to keep the tournament in Colombo as it would help the tourism and hotel sector in Sri Lanka immensely, the current situation hasn’t helped its cause.

With this edition set to be played in T20 format as the World Cup follows soon after, matches will be played in the evenings and under lights.

With power outages persisting across the country and the market facing fuel shortage, hosting Asia Cup was always going to be challenging for SLC. And ACC had in fact left the decision to the SLC.

And over the weekend, according to an ACC official, SLC expressed interest in hosting the event in the UAE.

The operational cost for the tournament will be taken care of by the ACC and it is understood that the logistics are being worked out.

The only thing that is holding against UAE is the weather as it tends to be hotter in the first-half of September.

The other option is to go back to Plan B and host the tournament in Bangladesh, but that looks highly unlikely as things stand. In terms of the tournament success, UAE will be a good option as there is a huge settlement of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan population.



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