As per the latest developments, Sri Lanka will host the 2021 Asia Cup in June, while Pakistan will hold the following edition a year later
The Asia Cup cricket tournament, which was scheduled to be held in September, 2020, has been postponed by the Asian Cricket Council due to the novel coronavirus pandemic situation across the world.
A press release from the ACC Thursday evening confirmed the news.
As per the latest developments, Sri Lanka will host the 2021 Asia Cup in June, while Pakistan will hold the following edition a year later.
The press release said, “The Executive Board of the ACC has met on multiple occasions to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Asia Cup tournament, scheduled for this September. From the onset the Board was keen on organizing the tournament as per the original schedule.
“However, travel restrictions, country-specific quarantine requirements, fundamental health risks and social distancing mandates have posed as substantial challenges to the holding of the Asia Cup. Above all, the risks related to health and safety of participating players, support staff, commercial partners, fans and the cricketing community were deemed to be significant.
“Accordingly, the Board, after careful consideration of all the above factors, has determined that the Asia Cup be postponed. Conducting the event in a responsible manner remains the priority of the ACC and the Board is hopeful that the tournament will be held in 2021. The ACC is currently working towards securing next June as a suitable window.
“It may also be noted that the host for the Asia Cup, Pakistan Cricket Board, has exchanged hosting rights for the tournament with Sri Lanka Cricket. Through this arrangement, the SLC will now host the rescheduled Asia Cup expected in June 2021, while the PCB will host the Asia Cup 2022.”
Pakistan originally had the hosting rights of the six-team continental event but considering the alarming Covid-19 situation, the PCB had decided to swap it with Sri Lanka.
PCB chief Ehsan Mani said the decision was made due to the worsening pandemic.
Mani said there was no politics behind the postponement and the decision was taken purely on safety grounds.
“SLC and PCB discussed it, we put the swap proposal to the ACC and it was approved by the board. There was no politics, it was just for sake of preserving cricket and nothing else,” said Mani.
The last edition of the Asia Cup was held in the United Arab Emirates in September 2018.
The five full members of the ACC took part in the tournament: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
They were joined by Hong Kong, who won the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier tournament.
Later Bangladesh and India played the final and the former lost the final narrowly in last ball of the game in a thrilling contest.
With the World T20I in October-November also unlikely to go ahead in Australia owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Asia Cup's cancellation allows the Board of Control for Cricket in India to have a full-fledged Indian Premier League Twenty20 in the same window.