Asia Cup 2020 has been postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) confirmed on Thursday. Asia Cup was scheduled to be held in September in the lead up to the T20 World Cup but the tournament has been rescheduled to June 2021.
Pakistan had the hosting rights to Asia Cup 2021 but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has exchanged the rights with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), ACC said. Sri Lanka will now host the rescheduled tournament in 2021.
ACC’s official confirmation comes a day after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly told India Today’s Senior Executive Editor (Sports), Vikrant Gupta, that the Asia Cup has been postponed. PCB chief executive Wasim Khan had said last month that the Asia Cup would go ahead as scheduled but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the delay.
ACC statement on Asia Cup 2020 postponement
“Conducting the event in a responsible manner 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,” the ACC said.
“It may also be noted that the hosts for the Asia Cup 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has exchanged hosting rights for the tournament with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Through this arrangement, the SLC will now host the rescheduled Asia Cup expected in June 2021 while the PCB will host the Asia Cup 2022.”
“From the onset the Board was keen on organising 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 health and safety of participating players, support staff, commercial partners, fans and the cricketing community were deemed to be significant.”
Ganguly’s confirmation has been vindicated even as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ehsan Mani had said as recently as Wednesday that he has not heard anything about the postponement from the ACC.
“We are still waiting for the ACC to come back to us,” Mani had told Sportstar.
“They are making inquiries about certain (things). Maybe, Sourav knows something that I don’t know. That’s possible. But we have not heard anything from the ACC, so I can’t comment on that,” he added.
Chances for IPL 2020 brighten
The International Cricket Council is set to take a call on hosting T20 World Cup in July.
IPL 2020 is well be on track after it was learnt that Cricket Australia had told its players to plan on playing the IPL after the tour of England in September.
Ganguly is keen on the IPL – the richest T20 league in the world. If the World Cup is called off, a window of opportunity will be created for the IPL.
According to sources, Australian players have been asked to plan on playing the IPL wherever it is held. So far, Sri Lanka and UAE have reportedly offered to host the IPL in case India is unable to.