Asia Cup has been embroiled in uncertainty from the start. The PCB had won the hosting rights, but with India unwilling to travel to Pakistan, Ganguly had said earlier this year that the tournament would be moved to the UAE, a claim denied by PCB at the time. Then, with Covid-19 disrupting cricket the world over and reports suggesting that even the T20 World Cup is unlikely to be played this year, the chances of the Asia Cup going ahead appeared slim.
The Asia Cup T20, which was supposed to take place in September, has been officially canceled due to the corona virus pandemic. Sourav Ganguly, president of BCCI said on Wednesday that the 2020 Asia Cup has been canceled. Though the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president Nazmul Hasan has not delivered a statement on the Asia Cup 2020.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, Ehsan Mani said on Wednesday that the ACC is now looking to host the tournament next year. “It was decided that Pakistan will swap the tournament with Sri Lanka. In principle, no one is certain that it’s possible to hold the tournament this year. So, we are looking at next year,” PCB had the hosting rights for this year’s tournament, but it had agreed to swap the tournament with Sri Lanka.
The future of this year’s tournament, scheduled to be held in September, looked bleak as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. But in its last meeting, the ACC had stated that it was still in conversation with the member boards.Statement from ACC explained that “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 the 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.Responsibly conducting the event 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.”
Sri Lanka will now host next year’s competition, with Pakistan instead of staging the 2022 event. 2020 was seen as a year for marquee cricket tournaments to commence, which included the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup. A decision on the 2020 T20 World Cup will soon be taken and as it looks the event might be postponed to next year.