The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Thursday postponed the Asia Cup tournament to be held in September this year until June 2021, in view of the growing cases of COVID-19 epidemic in the Asian region.
The decision cleared the way for the Indian Premier League, which the organizers are trying to do from September to November as the T20 World Cup is also expected to be postponed.
A day earlier, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly announced the cancellation of the phase of the continental tournament, which Pakistan had the hosting rights.
After a year of postponement of the Asia Cup, now the International Cricket Council (ICC) is also expected to announce the postponement of the T20 World Cup which is to be held in October-November.
The Asian Cricket Council tweeted, "After much thought and evaluation on the impact of the Kovid-19 pandemic, the ACC Executive Board decided to postpone the Asia Cup tournament which was to be held in September 2020. ''
"The ACC's executive board met on several occasions to assess the impact of the Kovid-19 epidemic on the Asia Cup tournament," the ACC said in a statement. Ganguly and BCCI secretary Jay Shah are part of the ACC board. The ACC board could not ignore the health risks from hosting the tournament.
According to the release, "The board was committed to hosting the tournament on schedule from the beginning. But travel-related barriers, special segregation requirements in countries, health-related risks, and mandatory rules of social distance pose challenges to the Asia Cup hosting. ''
Accordingly, "above all, the health and safety related risks of the participating players, support staff, business partners, fans and the cricket community are considered significant." The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the organizer of the Asia Cup 2020, swapped the hosting rights with Sri Lanka Cricket for security reasons.
According to the release, "The ACC board decided to postpone the Asia Cup 2020 after much consideration of all these reasons. ACC's priority is to organize the tournament in a responsible manner and the board hopes that the tournament will be held in 2021. ''
Sri Lanka Cricket according to this arrangement will now host the postponed Asia Cup in June 2021, while the PCB in 2022 will host the stage.
The tournament seemed to be postponed but Ganguly announced the decision a day earlier and did not like PCB officials Ehsan Mani and Wasim Khan.
No official statement came in this regard from the PCB, but sources close to both of them said that according to protocol, it would have been ideal for the host to announce the postponement of the tournament.
"They are not happy because Pakistan was officially the host of the Asia Cup and secondly they think the announcement would have been made by ACC," the source said. Ganguly's announcement makes it clear that the BCCI wanted the tournament to be postponed. ''