Hambantota shift of Asia Cup on hold; players uncertain of location of Super 4 matches

It appears that the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has changed its mind and is now considering holding the matches in Colombo itself. A temporary hold has been put on the prior plan to move the tournament to Hambantota, and investigations are currently being conducted to see if the original timetable, which called for games to be played in Colombo, can still go forward.

The Colombo leg of the championship may go on as scheduled, according to the most recent information from the ACC and Sri Lanka Cricket, despite worries about the potential for heavy rain caused by the island’s typical weather patterns, particularly in the capital city. According to reports, the weather situation and projections are improving.

The Indian team arrived in Colombo on Tuesday in the late afternoon, and when they checked into the Taj Samudra Hotel, they were welcomed by a wonderful day. The team management continues to believe that the matches will take place in the capital city even though they have not yet received official confirmation of the schedule. The squad does not have any scheduled practice sessions over the next two days, but sources say they will be informed of the final decision then. Colombo will host six games, including the championship match on September 17. September 9 brings the opening Super 4 match, and September 10 brings a match between India and Pakistan. Before the final, there are three more games on September 12, 14, and 15.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary and president Jay Shah has responded forcefully to Najam Sethi, the former president of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who has criticized Jay Shah and the ACC over the Asia Cup schedule.

“A real commitment to put player welfare and the larger interests of the sport first informed the decision-making process for the Asia Cup 2023 format and location. In the end, it was important to strike a balance that would allow for a competitive and successful event while also assuring the well-being and readiness of the participating teams for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Shah said in a statement on Tuesday. On the relocation to Hambantota, he remained silent.

Sethi, who recently claimed, “I offered that we play five matches in Pakistan and eight in the UAE, has continued to criticize Shah. They rejected this as well and threatened to award Sri Lanka the right to host the Asia Cup if we didn’t bend. Their request was rejected by BCCI. Only Mr. (Jay) Shah can explain why these alternatives were turned down and Sri Lanka was made an exception against all logic, reason, and rationale. As we have seen, Sri Lanka’s selection of venues was equally problematic. 

A relocation to the UAE, according to Shah, was not in the players’ best interests before to the World Cup. “The T20 format was used in the UAE during the Asia Cup 2022. To be clear, a T20 tournament’s dynamics cannot be directly equated to those of a 100-over One-day format. Concerns regarding playing One-Day matches in the UAE in September were raised by the high-performance teams of the ACC members in this situation. Such a schedule might have exacerbated player tiredness and injury risk, especially in the weeks leading up to the crucial ICC Cricket World Cup, according to the ACC president.

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