The Asian Cricket Council has announced that the upcoming edition of the Asia Cup has been moved to the United Arab Emirates considering the ongoing political tension in Sri Lanka. The island nation will still be helping the host nation and organizers to make sure the tournament is conducted well.
The reports of the Asia Cup being shifted from Sri Lanka were confirmed by the Asia Cricket Council after they announced that the tournament will be played in the United Arab Emirates. The middle-east nation hosted the tournament in 2018 as well, which was played in the ODI format and saw India clinching the trophy.
The decision came as a result of the increasing political turmoil in Sri Lanka which has escalated steeply over the past fortnight. Since hosting Australia for a two-match Test series, the country has seen its former President flee after protests broke out across the nation, leading to the installation of a new premier.
"Considering the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka, the ACC after extensive deliberation has unanimously concluded that it would be appropriate to relocate the tournament from Sri Lanka to UAE," a release from the Asian Cricket Council read as reported by Cricbuzz.
The tournament is scheduled to begin on the 27th of August, with the final scheduled to take place on the 11th of September. A total of six teams will be competing for the title, of which India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have earned a direct ticket to the main stages of the event. The sixth spot will be decided by a mini-qualifying tournament featuring the UAE, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Sri Lanka Cricket President Shammi Silva expressed her disappointment at the news but remained positive about the event.
"We were really looking forward to hosting our Asian neighbours in Sri Lanka for the much-anticipated Asia Cup. While I fully stand by the ACC's decision to shift the Asia Cup to UAE considering the current context and magnitude of the event, Sri Lanka cricket will work closely with the ACC and the Emirates Cricket Board to ensure that we still have an exciting edition of the Asia Cup," he stated.