Asia Cup matches likely to be shifted out of Colombo after heavy rains

Three venues are under consideration - Pallekele, Dambulla and Hambantota

Asia Cup trophy Asia Cup trophy

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is mulling a change in the venue for the Super Four matches of the Asia Cup in the wake of the heavy rains that have been lashing in Colombo.

Five Super Four matches and the final have been scheduled in Colombo from September 9 onwards, but there are hardly any signs of the weather relenting.

In that context, the ACC is currently engaged in a discussion with the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and tournament host Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the possible change of venue.

The PTI has been informed that three venues are under consideration - Pallekele, Dambulla and Hambantota. The six participating teams have also been intimated about the possible change in venue.

Pallekele is currently hosting the Asia Cup league matches, but the possibility of rain in this hill town is also on the higher side. Dambulla is about 70 kilometres from Pallekele, and the chances of rain are much less in the former city.

However, a SLC official said the Rangiri International Cricket Stadium at Dambulla might not be ready to host so many matches at short notice.

The weather in Hambantota is predicted to be the brightest in Sri Lanka at this moment, and the ACC is keenly evaluating the readiness of Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium to host the Asia Cup matches.

The ACC has another couple of days to take a final call, considering the Colombo leg starts only on September 9, but the Sri Lankan board did not want to leave the event to the mercy of the elements.

It may be recalled that Sri Lanka was drafted in as the Asia Cup co-host after the hybrid model proposed by then PCB chief Najam Sethi.

"The tournament will be hosted in a hybrid model with four matches being held in Pakistan, and the remaining nine matches being played in Sri Lanka," the ACC had stated in June.

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