The Asia Cup is “likely” to be moved out of Sri Lanka in the wake of political unrest in the island nation, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Mohan de Silva said on Sunday, adding that the tournament could be played in the UAE. Sri Lanka, which has been battling an economic crisis, has witnessed widespread protests against the government for weeks.
However, the situation worsened with president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country on a military jet.
“The Asia Cup is very likely that it will be held in the UAE,” de Silva was quoted as saying.
The dates for the six-team tournament are expected to remain the same as scheduled earlier from August 26 to September 11.
A qualifier will also take place before the main event with Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait and UAE battling out for the one qualification spot.
Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh will be the five full member teams.
With Australia tour of Sri Lanka going off smoothly and Pakistan currently playing Test cricket in Sri Lanka, there were hopes that the SLC might be able to host the continental event.
Also, a statement from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has Indicated that Sri Lanka can still stage the tournament.
PCB said that its priority is to support Sri Lanka in this current situation as shifting of Asia Cup from the country could result in huge cricketing and financial loss. PCB further added that after the discussions with ACC, they reckoned that the tournament is on track to be held in the island nation, especially with their current tour going fine with “no issues”. ACC is likely to announce the venue officially in the coming days of the tournament set to take place from August 26 to September 11.