Amidst the grave economic crisis looming over the island nation, Sri Lanka Cricket has been reportedly asked to confirm if they would be able to host the Asia Cup 2022 by July 27. The marque tournament is slated to get underway on August 27 in the neighbouring country. Reports have suggested that SLC might lose the hosting rights of the competition due to the economic crisis, which led to widespread protests across the nation.
As per India Today’s report citing sources, the possibility of Sri Lanka hosting the tournament is declining with every passing day. “As of now, it would be really tough to say whether they can host the Asia Cup,” a highly placed source was quoted.
Reportedly, SLC is optimistic and very positive about the issue, and they have time in hand as well, but following the protocol, they have been conveyed a stiff deadline to confirm the same. The island nation is witnessing protests all over the nation amid the battle against rising inflation. Due to decreasing foreign exchange reserves, they are facing a severe shortage of essential commodities and fuel.
As there is no decrease in demand, but due to less supply, prices have gone high astonishingly. Several former cricketers, including Arjuna Ranatunga and Sanath Jayasuriya, have also joined the protest and public rallies and demanded immediate action from the Rajapaksa government.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka was scheduled to host the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup, but due to the Covid crisis, the ICC tournament was postponed twice.
If SLC fails to conduct the Asia Cup, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will have to move the competition to some other country. Notably, Pakistan has the hosting rights for the marquee tournament in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Asia Cup will be played in the T20 format this year as the teams prepare for the T20 World Cup 2022, which will take place in October-November in Australia. India will step into the competition as defending champions, having won the last two editions in 2016 and 2018, respectively.