Has SLC preponed Asia Cup 2022 because of Pakistan?

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) earlier gave a deadline to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to finalize whether to host the 18th edition of the Asia Cup or not. Sri Lanka's political and economical crisis pulled the hosting rights into jeopardy, however, the SLC has confirmed hosting the participants, only if all the cricket boards agree to start the marquee event three days prior.

Notably, Asia Cup 2022 is scheduled to begin on 27th August, but SLC, in the recent statements, has stated to prepone the tournament on 24th August instead. Earlier, it was reported that the Asia Cup is likely to shift to another venue if circumstances in Sri Lanka do not settle, and Bangladesh was probably to get the hosting rights. However, SLC has clarified its stance.

According to the statement from one of the SLC officials, the decision to prepone the Asia Cup has been taken on the demand of multiple participating teams' boards, including the Pakistan Cricket Board. It is because Pakistan is set to host England in September for a 7-match T20I series. Since the Asia Cup 2022 ends on 11th September, the SLC is looking to start early and end early not to let the other boards suffer.

It must be noted that the PCB has also requested the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to prepone the T20I series and send the squad earlier. It is because of this reason that the cricket-loving nation has shown its interest in playing the tri-nation series in New Zealand with Bangladesh as the third team. The tri-series is scheduled before the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.

Notably, the PCB's mission is to get enough practice before the T20 World Cup, so they have decided to utilise Pak vs Eng T20I series, and the tri-nation series as the practice forum. Once the ECB responds, the PCB will confirm its decision to the NZC regarding the tri-series.

An SLC source told The News that,

"Adjustments in the dates are made following a request received by the SL Board from a couple of participating teams, including Pakistan, on the possible clash of international fixtures. Pakistan are to host England for seven T20 Internationals in the latter part of September. If Asia Cup goes ahead on the new dates of August 24 and ends on September 7, it would be perfect from Pakistan’s perspective as the team will be back home well in time for the start of the T20 series against England,"

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