“Every effort has been made to host the Asian Cup in Sri Lanka and the decision to move the venue to the UAE has been taken after much deliberation,” said Jay Shah, the chairman of the Asian Cricket Council, in a statement on Wednesday. press release. “The UAE will be the new location, while Sri Lanka will retain the hosting rights.”
Sri Lanka is going through one of its worst crises with food and fuel supplies drying up. The country has still managed to host bilateral cricket, with Australia and Pakistan making the journey, but as the Asia Cup is a multi-team tournament, the challenges of hosting it amid economic turmoil have been a bit too much.
“Hosting two teams is not the same as hosting ten,” SLC chief executive Ashley de Silva told ESPNcricinfo ten days ago. “You have to fuel ten buses for each of them. You have to provide each team with a cargo car with fuel, and transportation for the managers. You also need to provide transportation to the sponsors and make sure they get the mileage they want from their sponsorship The fuel for the generators to run the floodlights will also have to be found.”
The ACC had limited options regarding backup locations as June through September is the monsoon season in most of the Indian subcontinent. In terms of infrastructure and travel, the UAE has proven to be a successful location, but late August and early September temperatures generally exceed 40°C and humidity is expected to be a factor as well.
The Asian Cup, last held in 2018, will this time be played in T20 format and will serve as preparation for the World Cup in October. It starts with a preliminary round of matches between the UAE, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong. The winner will advance to the main draw and will play against Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.