ACC looking at June 2021 window to hold Asia Cup
India has won the previous two editions of the Asia Cup
The Asian Cricket Council is contemplating a window in June 2021 to hold the Asia Cup while announcing on Thursday (July 9) that the tournament, which was scheduled to be held in September this year, has been postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACC also announced that the Pakistan Cricket Board, which was supposed to host the 2020 event, has exchanged the hosting rights with Sri Lanka Cricket, while the PCB will host the 2022 event.
The announcement comes a day after BCCI president Sourav Ganguly revealed in an Instagram chat that the event was cancelled.
The 2020 tournament was supposed to be held in the United Arab Emirates, with Pakistan to host the tournament. India weren't willing to travel to Pakistan but the BCCI had earlier stated that it didn't have a problem with Pakistan hosting the Asia Cup, as long as it was held at a neutral venue.
During an ACC meeting in June, the possibility of holding the tournament in Sri Lanka emerged. However, wary of the COVID-19 situation and with the event involving multiple countries, the ACC decided to play it safe.
"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," stated the ACC in a media release. "From the onset the Board was keen on organising the tournament as per the original schedule. However, travel restrictions, country-specific quarantine requirements, threat to fundamental health and social distancing mandates have posed 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.
The Asia Cup is played once every two years, and since 2016 it has been on a rotation basis - alternating between T20Is and ODIs. The tournament hasn't been hosted by Pakistan since 2008. Sri Lanka hosted the 2010 edition while the next three editions were held in Bangladesh. The last Asia Cup tournament took place in the UAE.
"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.
"It may also be noted that the hosts for the Asia Cup 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), have 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 ACC stated.
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