Amid the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will take a decision later this month on whether it is possible to host the Asia Cup in the island nation from August 27. While the Sri Lanka Cricket officials are optimistic, Bangladesh has been floated as a standby.
“The ACC is monitoring the situation and will make a decision in its meeting later this month, keeping all factors in mind,” a source aware of the development, told Sportstar.
Earlier, Sri Lanka Cricket had expressed its willingness to host the tournament after successfully conducting the men’s series against Australia and the tour of India’s women’s team.
But things took a dramatic turn last week as the Presidential Palace was stormed by protesters and the Prime Minister’s residence was set on fire. In the current scenario, the ACC does not want to take any chances, and with not much time left to find an alternative, Bangladesh is being considered as a back-up option.
India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have already sealed their spots, while the likes of UAE, Nepal, Oman, Hong Kong will play qualifiers, to be held from August 21. The Asia Cup was originally scheduled to be held in 2020, but it got postponed due to COVID-19.
With the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November, teams like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are looking at the Asia Cup as a preparation ground for the ICC event. And, sources have indicated that with the volatile political situation in Sri Lanka, not many cricket Boards are confident of sending their teams, forcing the ACC to look at an alternative.
Neither the ACC officials nor the Bangladesh Cricket Board were available for a comment at the time of publishing the story.
The last time the Asia Cup was held in the United Arab Emirates in 2018, India won the title under Rohit Sharma, defeating Bangladesh in the final.