Jay Shah President of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has unilaterally decided to hold Asia Cup 2023 matches in Colombo.
Unilateral decision by Jay Shah caused tension. PCB is worried about the unpredictable weather in Colombo, which has led to flooding in the vicinity of the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, potentially causing disruptions to the matches.
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The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had initially planned to relocate the six Super 4 matches to Hambantota due to unfavorable weather forecasts in Colombo, a decision that received approval from the PCB.
However, a recent development has transpired, with Jay Shah, leading the ACC, reversing this decision, resulting in considerable dissatisfaction from the PCB.
The PCB is worried about Colombo’s erratic weather, which has caused flooding in the vicinity of the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, posing a potential threat to the matches, including the highly anticipated Pakistan-India game scheduled for September 10.
Adding to the PCB’s frustration is the ACC’s independent decision-making, despite Pakistan hosting the event.
The controversy escalated when rain forced the cancellation of the Pakistan-India match in Pallekele on Saturday, raising concerns about the tournament’s feasibility and drawing criticism towards the ACC for scheduling matches during Sri Lanka’s rainy season.
However, Ashley de Silva, CEO of SLC, has clarified that Colombo will indeed host the matches as originally planned. He emphasized that discussions about relocating the games to Hambantota were still in the preliminary stages and that no official confirmation had been provided to any interested parties regarding a potential move.
Earlier today, Najam Sethi, the former Chairman of the PCB management committee, took to his social media platform “X” to voice his discontent regarding the choice of venues for the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 matches. In a series of tweets, Sethi highlighted the adverse weather conditions in Sri Lanka, which had already caused disruptions in the Asia Cup 2023 schedule. He revealed that he had strongly urged the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to consider shifting the remaining matches of the Asia Cup to the UAE instead of Sri Lanka.
“I pleaded for three approvals in various meetings with Jay Shah and ACC colleagues:
- Play all matches in Pakistan, as international cricket had fully returned to Pakistan.
- When this was rejected, I proposed that we play five matches in Pakistan and eight in the UAE.
- This too faced resistance…”
It’s worth noting that Jay Shah, who also serves as the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has previously been involved in making last-minute changes to the ICC World Cup 2023 schedule, a move that garnered criticism from the cricketing community.