SLC positive of hosting Asia Cup as scheduled

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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) believes that they are positive to host the Asian Cricket Council’s high-profile event, the Asia Cup 2022, as per schedule amid the economic crisis in the island nation.

A top source at SLC revealed to Ceylon Today that they are positive to host the mega event, and further discussions with the relevant authorities are being held. 

“We are hopeful and very positive and looking forward to host the Asia Cup 2022 as per schedule amid the situation in Sri Lanka and discussions are being held,” the source added.

Sri Lanka is battling with rising inflation and a severe shortage of essential commodities and fuel due to decreasing foreign currency reserves. Protests have erupted against the government with several legends of the game, including Arjuna Ranatunga and Sanath Jayasuriya, joining the public rallies.

However, the ongoing economic crisis in the island nation which has sparked nationwide protests, has prompted the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to keep a Plan B ready, though they are adopting a wait-and-watch policy before shifting it from Sri Lanka altogether.

Earlier, the ACC, at their Annual General Meeting in Colombo on 19 March, had assigned the event to Sri Lanka as per their turn from 27 August to 11 September with the Qualifiers scheduled from 20 August. The continental body, headed by BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, also finalised that it would be held in T20 format in order to maintain a synergy with T20 World Cup in Australia in November-December and allow the teams some quality preparation.

Foreign newspapers have reported that the UAE is gradually emerging as an alternative venue to stage the upcoming edition of the Asia Cup in August-September, officially scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka.

The UAE, which has turned to be a cricketing hub for both international and franchise cricket in recent times, and hosted the T20 World Cup seamlessly last year, had staged the last edition of the Asia Cup in 2018 (with BCCI as hosts), which saw a Rohit Sharma-led India emerging as champions. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), which has hosted past editions of the Asia Cup, have also submitted a proposal expressing their willingness to stage the  host the tournament, but it is believed that possibility of rains in such a tight window may tilt the scales in favour of the UAE.

Reportedly SLC officials have taken wing to Dubai on Friday (22) to discuss with the relevant authorities, and their decisions are yet to be disclosed to the media.

(CT Sports)