Asia Cup officially postponed; Sri Lanka to host the tournament in June 2021

It was scheduled to be played in September this year.

Indian team
Indian team celebrates with the Asia Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has officially postponed the upcoming Asia Cup scheduled to be played in September this year. The BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had confirmed the news (as cancelled) on Wednesday while the PCB Chief Ehsan Mani had also informed about the postponement. This has given the BCCI now a wider window to think about organising the Indian Premier League (IPL) with the T20 WC also likely to be deferred.

Pakistan were the original hosts of the Asia Cup this year but they had exchanged the hosting rights with Sri Lanka in the wake of the pandemic. The island nation has less cases of COVID-19 and the ACC was pondering if the tournament can be held in the country. But eventually, with the cases still increasing in Asian countries, they have decided not to play the competition this year.

“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 in September 2020. From the onset the Board was keen on organising 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 2020 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 June 2021 as a suitable window for the same,” the Press Release from the ACC read.

Pakistan to host the Asia Cup in 2022

As the PCB had swapped the hosting rights with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), it will stay the same and the Asia Cup will now be played next year in June in the island nation. Pakistan, on the other hand, will play hosts in 2022. “It may also be noted that the hosts for the Asia Cup 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has exchanged hosting rights for the tournament with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

“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,” the release further added.