SRI LANKA TROUBLE
Sri Lanka has been hit hard by an economic crisis © Getty
The fate of the Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka, is likely to be decided by the end of the month, even as serious doubts are being expressed over the feasibility of the Australia-Sri Lanka series happening in June-July. Although both the boards have been maintaining the ‘wait and watch’ refrain, the increasing violence and disturbances in Sri Lanka are seemingly putting paid to the chances of the series as well Asia Cup happening there.
Sources in The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have told Cricbuzz that secretary Jay Shah, who is the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), called up Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Shammi Silva and CEO Ashley de Silva after violence broke out in the island nation a few days ago.
“There is also a likelihood of the SLC officials flying down to India for the IPL final this month-end. A clear picture will emerge by then when a call is expected to be taken with finality,” the BCCI source said.
The country has been witnessing violence on the streets with the army deployed to control it. A new Prime Minister has been sworn in even as unrest persists.
The problem for the ACC is that the Asia Cup is scheduled to begin in the end of August (August 27-September 11), when holding the continental event in the UAE is difficult because of the heat in the desert kingdom. Moving the event to another country will not be easy too, given the India-Pakistan diplomatic dynamics.
CA briefs Australian players on the situation
Meanwhile, a couple of stakeholders of Cricket Australia (CA) and the SLC expressed doubts if next month’s bilateral series can go ahead after the new developments and latest disturbances in the country. CA is seeking advice from its government, particularly Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which has issued a travel advisory against visiting Sri Lanka.
The Australian team is scheduled to arrive in Lanka in three weeks, to play three T20Is, five ODIs, and two Test matches.
A spokesperson for CA maintained that there were no changes currently.
“We are keeping a close eye on developments in Sri Lanka and talking regularly with DFAT and the SLC. Our players and support staff have been briefed and will continue to be kept up to date. There are three weeks until the scheduled departure of the squad and at this stage there are no changes to the schedule.”