Reports: Asia Cup 2022 likely to be shifted to UAE amid Sri Lanka crisis

"In such a scenario, it is being felt that hosting the championship is not appropriate," a member of the ACC said.

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Sri Lanka Flag
Sri Lanka Flag. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 2022 Asia Cup may need to be shifted out of Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the political unrest in the Island nation. While Sri Lanka Cricket have remained confident of their ability to stage the six-team event despite the severe turbulence on both political and economic fronts, the rapid escalation of unrest in the country, which has seen its President fleeing recently and widespread protests amongst other catastrophes, seems to have forced the stakeholders to look at other options, with the United Arab Emirates emerging as one of the frontrunners to host the event.

Recent reports suggest that the member boards of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) have already started considering the alternative route as discussions are underway with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) in the UAE. The six-team event is slated to be played from August 27 to September 11, with Hong Kong, Kuwait, Singapore and UAE set to play the Qualifier before the main event, which will involve Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the Qualifier topper.

“In such a scenario, it is being felt that hosting the championship is not appropriate,” a member of the ACC told Cricbuzz on Saturday (July 16).

It is pertinent to note that Sri Lanka successfully hosted Australia in an extensive all-format tour while it is currently hosting Pakistan for two Tests. Meanwhile, even as the UAE is understandably being looked at as a potential host, battling the heat in the desert will remain one of the biggest challenges for the organisers given the timing of the tournament.

Amidst the recent developments, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) recent take remains a glimmer of hope for the SLC. “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,” Faisal Hasnain, PCB CEO, said.

“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,” he added.

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