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Asia Cup 2023: Colombo to Remain Venue for Super 4 Stage as Asian Cricket Council Shelves Hambantota Plan

The Super 4 stages of the Asia Cup will stick to its original schedule with all the matches being played in Colombo. The Indian Express understands that the Asian Cricket Council has decided against shifting the matches to Hambantota as it expects the weather forecast to improve over the weekend and beyond.

Ever since India’s Group B match against Pakistan was washed out in Pallekele last Saturday, there have been concerns about the matches taking place in Colombo, which has been receiving heavy rainfall. The Sri Lanka Cricket then suggested moving the tournament to Hambantota which was accepted by hosts Pakistan Cricket Board. But with India continuing to show reluctance to travel to Hambantota, the remaining five matches of the Super 4 stage and the final to be played in Sri Lanka will be played as per schedule in Colombo.

Moreover, shifting matches to Hambantota would have been a logistical nightmare as the city in the southeastern part of Sri Lanka doesn’t have any hotels close to the stadium.

Moreover, to accommodate four teams, match officials, commentators and the broadcast crew at a short notice was always going to remain a challenge. And it is understood that considering all these options, the ACC decided to play the tournament in Colombo itself.

Sources in the know said that unlike Dambulla, which is a dry zone, Hambantota also receives rainfall and under the circumstances the capital city with all its facilities was considered a safe option.

On Monday, after India’s match against Nepal was curtailed because of rain, Najam Sethi, the former chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, had criticised the ACC for hosting the event in Sri Lanka. And on Tuesday, ACC president Jay Shah, who also happens to be BCCI secretary, said the island nation was picked as a venue because hosting the tournament in the UAE was not possible because of the extreme heat conditions.

“The Asia Cup 2022 edition was played in the UAE in the T20 format. It’s important to emphasize that the dynamics of a T20 tournament cannot be directly compared to those of a 100-over One-day format. In this context, ACC members received feedback from their respective high-performance teams, expressing concerns about playing One-day matches in the UAE in the month of September. Such a schedule could have potentially led to player fatigue and an increased risk of injuries, particularly right before the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup,” Shah said in a statement.

Source : The India News