The much-awaited Asia Cup 2022 will be played in the United Arab Emirates from August 27. With less than two weeks to go before the tournament, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are yet to receive a green signal from the Ministry of Sports over the change in venue, reported Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times.
The country was originally supposed to host the tournament but an economic crisis leading to fuel shortages and political instability led to a change in the venue.
SLC are still the tournament’s hosts but officials are awaiting a nod from the sports ministry to travel to the UAE to make logistical and operational arrangements for the Asia Cup. Without this approval, they will not be able to make these arrangements and may lose hosting rights.
An opposition MP recently questioned the decision to shift the tournament to the UAE as Pakistan and Australia had recently toured Sri Lanka for bilateral series.
Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe and Arjun Ranatunga, chairman of the National Sports Council, backed the claim, citing that SLC had not lobbied enough to keep the tournament in Sri Lanka.
SLC secretary Mohan de Silva called them wild allegations to bring disrepute to the organization.
As hosts, Sri Lanka Cricket will earn $6.5 million, but its hotels, spectators and tourism industry will lose out due to the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka.
Last month, BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that the tournament had been shifted from Sri Lanka to UAE.
In a letter to Shah, who is also the ACC president, broadcaster Star India said:
SLC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE Cricket Board to carry out logistical and operational arrangements jointly, the Sunday Times report added.
Sri Lanka will begin their campaign against Afghanistan on August 27 in Dubai. They have won the tournament five times, the last time in 2014.
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