UAE replaces Sri Lanka as host venue for 2022 Asia Cup

Asian Cricket Council makes decision to move tournament due to the ongoing crisis in the island nation

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, September 28 , 2018 :- Members of the Indian cricket team celebrating after winning the final of Unimoni Asia Cup UAE 2018 cricket match beating Bangladesh at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National )  For News/Sports/Instagram/Big Picture. Story by Paul
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The UAE has stepped in to replace Sri Lanka as the location for the 2022 Asia Cup, starting next month, due to the ongoing political and economic crisis in the island nation, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) said.

Sri Lanka will remain hosts for the nine-team tournament, which will be played between August 27 and September 11 and serve as preparation for the Asian sides in the lead-up to the Twenty20 World Cup later this year.

The country of 22 million people has been crippled by an economic crisis, with shortages of fuel, food and other necessities. The Sri Lankan parliament on Wednesday approved the extension of a state of emergency for a month.

Shammi Silva, the president of Sri Lanka's cricket board (SLC) said they "fully stand by the ACC's decision" to relocate the tournament.

"Every effort was made to host the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and the decision to shift the venue to the UAE was taken after much deliberation," ACC president Jay Shah said in a statement.

"The UAE will be the new venue while Sri Lanka will continue to retain hosting rights. This edition of the Asia Cup is extremely important as it will help Asian nations prepare for the ICC World Cup."

The UAE has frequently stepped in to host other Asian cricket teams and tournaments during times of crisis and turmoil.

The Emirates became the home of the Pakistan national team for almost 10 years after the 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore meant Pakistan were exiled from hosting international cricket, while the first two editions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) were held in the UAE.

India beat Bangladesh in Dubai to win 2018 Asia Cup

Three times the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been hosted in the UAE, firstly in 2014 when the first part of the tournament was relocated due to the general elections, before playing the entire 2020 tournament in the Emirates during the coronavirus pandemic. The IPL then completed its 2021 season in the UAE - as did the PSL - due to a worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.

The UAE will host the Asia Cup for the fourth time having hosted the inaugural tournament in 1984, the fifth edition in 1995, and the most recent event in 2018.

For only the second time, the Asia Cup will be played in a T20 format and will start with a qualifying round of matches involving the UAE, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong. The winner of qualifying will progress to the main tournament and play Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

Updated: July 28, 2022, 9:27 AM