On Thursday, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced that it has postponed the Asia Cup Tournament until June 2021. Earlier, the tournament was scheduled to happen in September this year but due to the upsurge in the current pandemic situation in the region, the tournament stands postponed.
On the other hand, this clears the path for the Indian Premier League which is speculated to happen in September-November window, where the franchises’ are trying hard to create a bio-secure environment to hold the game behind the closed doors. The T20 World Cup as of now is speculated to be postponed indefinitely.
Sourav released the statement
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly announced the cancellation of the continental tournament recently, whose hosting rights were reserved by Pakistan this year.
As the Asia Cup stands pushed back by a year, ICC also is expected to announce the postponement of the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in October-November.
ACC postponed the tournament
“After careful consideration and evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Board of the ACC has decided to postpone the Asia Cup tournament that was scheduled for September 2020,” the Asian Cricket Council tweeted.
“The Executive Board of the ACC has met on multiple occasions to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Asia Cup tournament…” the ACC said.
Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary are both parts of the ACC Board, said that they could not afford to ignore the health risks that might arise while hosting this tournament of such grandeur.
“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,” the release further stated.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the organisers of the Asia Cup 2020, has exchanged the hosting rights of the tournament with Sri Lankan Cricket due to security purpose.
“…Accordingly, the (ACC) Board, after careful consideration of all the above factors, has determined that the Asia Cup 2020 be postponed. 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 statement read.
According to the new arrangements, SLC will now host the Asia Cup which was scheduled to be happening in 20202, but now postponed to 2021 and PCB will host the next Asia Cup which is scheduled in 2022.
PCB unhappy with Ganguly
Though the postponement was speculated from way before and was on the cards for a long time, Ganguly’s stealing away the thunder like a boss from Ehsan Mani and Wasim Khan by declaring the announcement a day earlier did not go down well with the two PCB administrators.
Though nothing formal has been heard from the duo, an informer close to them said that the protocol was breached by Dada as the hosts would have ideally announced the postponement of the game.
“They are not happy since Pakistan was the official hosts of the Asia Cup and secondly they feel this announcement should have come through the ACC. Ganguly’s announcement makes it clear that BCCI wanted a postponement,” the PCB official said.
On Thursday, Sourav Ganguly, the President of BCCI also announced that the Indian Domestic Cricket will not resume until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.