Asia Cup likely to be moved out of Sri Lanka amid political unrest, confirms SLC secretary Mohan de Silva

The Asia Cup is ‘likely’ to be moved out of Sri Lanka amid a massive political crisis in the island nation, confirmed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Mohan de Silva said on Sunday, 17 July. Speculation has been rife about the Asia Cup since Sri Lanka faced their economic crisis which went from bad to worse after public demonstrations against their government – widely accepted as corrupt by citizens of the country.

With Sri Lanka struggling to stay afloat, the President of the country – Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled to Singapore and submitted his resignation, 8000 kilometers away from all that was happening.

“The Asia Cup is very likely that it will be held in the UAE,” Sri Lanka Cricket secretary de Silva told PTI when asked about a possible change in the venue of the T20 tournament.

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.

In the recent days, Australia have held their full tour to Sri Lanka without any hindrance, while Pakistan are currently playing their first Test match. It is expected that the venue of their second Test match might be moved to Galle from Colombo, which is the heart of the public protests.

A statement from the Asian Cricket Council is expected soon.

Pakistan Cricket Board on Saturday said that it wanted Asia Cup to be played in Sri Lanka.

“Our first preference is to support Sri Lanka and play the Asia Cup there. If this tournament does not take place in Sri Lanka, it will be a huge cricketing and financial loss for them. Australia’s recent tour of Sri Lanka went off without any problems,” said PCB chief executive Faisal Hasnain in a statement.

“Similarly, there have been no issues with the ongoing Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka as we are constantly in touch with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and our embassy in the country.

“Our discussions with the ACC representatives have suggested that the tournament is on track at the moment as they are monitoring the situation very carefully and we will support their decision.”

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