The 2020 edition of the Asia Cup stands cancelled, the tournament’s governing body confirmed on Thursday, ending weeks of speculation. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is looking at a window in June 2021 to host the tournament.
The T20 tournament was to be played in Sri Lanka in September after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) offered to swap hosting rights in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was to feature the four subcontinent sides along with Afghanistan and an Asian qualifier.
“Travel restrictions, country-specific quarantine requirements, fundamental health risks and social distancing mandates have posed as substantial challenges to holding the Asia Cup,” read a statement from the ACC. “Above all, the risks related to health and safety of participating players, support staff and commercial partners, fans and the cricketing community were deemed to be significant.”
On Wednesday, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had unofficially confirmed the tournament’s cancellation during an Instagram Live with the Indian news channel Aaj Tak.
As per the original ICC calendar, the Asia Cup T20 was to be a precursor to the men’s T20 World Cup that was to be staged in Australia in October-November. However, the ICC continues to remain tight-lipped about the possibility of staging the event this year. An announcement is expected soon.
With Sri Lanka set to host the Asia Cup in 2021, Pakistan have been awarded the hosting rights in 2022. The previous edition was hosted by the BCCI in UAE in September 2018, with India emerging winners.