In a press interview earlier this week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the Asia Cup has been cancelled for this year and could now only be held next year. The event, which had Pakistan as original hosts, was scheduled for September with the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka frontrunners to stage the tournament.
“In December, we have the first full series. Asia Cup 2020 has been called-off which was scheduled to take place in September,” Ganguly told Vikrant Gupta on a live Instagram chat. To clarify the initial statement, he was asked again if the tournament is officially called off, “Asia Cup 2020 has been cancelled,” Ganguly said.
He added that the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is now looking to host the tournament next year. Earlier in May during its last meeting, the ACC had hinted the cancelation and stated that it was still in conversation with the member boards. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which has the hosting rights, confirmed it has agreed to host the event in 2022 and Sri Lanka is now expected to hold it 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 chief Ehsan Mani, who is currently in England, told a sports outlet. Despite repeated attempts, ACC chief, Nazmul Hasan Papon, wasn’t available for a comment.
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The tournament was not to be held in Pakistan due to India’s refusal to tour the country over political tensions. There was a possibility of moving the tournament to the United Arab Emirates. “We discussed it at the last ACC meeting and I spoke to Sri Lanka because we were uncertain about the situation in the UAE and Sri Lanka conveyed that the situation is much better there,” Mani earlier said.
Asked about the fate of the Indian Premier League, Ganguly said: “I don’t know about it as getting a window is important. The T20 World Cup is there and the ICC is trying to make it happen as it generates a lot of revenue for them. Unless we get clear cut directions from the ICC, we can’t say anything about the IPL.” The IPL, due to begin on March 29 and pushed back to April 15, remains postponed indefinitely.
Ganguly also commented on as to when the Indian team will be seen in action next. “It is tough to say now as no one knows when the virus situation improves. Our preparations are in place but we can only implement them on the ground. Stadiums are open but players are not going to train there because chances of getting infected are high,” he said.
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