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Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka: Did ACC make a questionable decision by hosting at this venue?

Sri Lanka as Asia Cup 2023 Host: An acceptable or regrettable decision by ACC?

Sri Lanka as Asia Cup 2023 Host: A bold move or a risky decision by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to host Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka?

The Asia Cup 2023, co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, commenced with a great promising start on 30th August 2023 ( Wednesday) to provide outstanding entertainment for all cricket fans. Were all cricket fans enjoying watching the match? The answer is absolutely NO!!!

Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka and Pakistan
ASIA CUP 2023 Cricket Host: Co-Hosted By Sri Lanka and Pakistan

The reason behind the above answer is quite simple and logical. A game can be enjoyed by both spectators and cricketers with a 100% satisfied feel when it is concluded successfully without any interruptions and features fierce competition between both teams.

As the rain threatened to be a spoilsport of the game, two out of three matches played at Pallekele, Sri Lanka could not be enjoyed to a complete extent due to severe rainfall in the location. This makes players as well as the audience concentrate more on the weather forecast rather than enjoying the game.

Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka
Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka: A bold move or a risky decision by the (ACC)?

Teams such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Afghanistan participated in the Asia Cup 2023 and were keen to clinch the trophy. However, these teams found it challenging to deliver their best performance during the matches played in Sri Lanka due to continuous interruptions.

In contrast, the matches conducted in Pakistan was a full-fledged 50-over game without any interruptions, offering a fair opportunity for both teams to determine a perfect outcome which can be proved by conducting a detailed analysis.

Results of Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka and Pakistan ( Till Date)

Here are the following match results of Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka (Pallekele) and Pakistan ( Multan and Lahore) to be analyzed about the tournament’s venue:

Match Date and Day Venue Scorecard Result  Man of the Match

Weather conditions on match day

PAK vs NEP

(Match 1: Group A) 

30th August 2023

(Wednesday)

Multan Cricket Stadium, Pakistan  PAK:

342-6

(50 overs)

BAN: 104 (23.4 overs)

Pakistan won by 238 runs Babar Azam 

Sunny/clear sky

BAN vs SL 

(Match 2: Group B)

31st August 2023

(Thursday)

Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka BAN: 164

(42.4 overs)

SL: 165-5

(39 overs) 

Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets Matheesha Pathirana

Cloudy sky

IND vs PAK (Match 3: Group A) 

02nd September 2023

(Saturday)

Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka IND: 266 (48.5 overs)

PAK: Did not bat

Match canceled due to rain

 

( No result)

NA

Extreme rainfall

BAN vs AFG 

(Match 4: Group B)

03rd September 2023

(Sunday) 

Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (Pakistan)   BAN: 334-5

(50 overs)

AFG: 245

(44.3 overs)

Bangladesh won by 89 runs Mehidy Hasan Miraz

Sunny/clear sky

IND vs NEP

(Match 5: 

Group A) 

04th September 2023

(Monday) 

Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka NEP: 230

(48.2 overs) 

IND:147-0 (20.1 overs) 

India  won by 10 wickets

(DLS method due to extreme rains) 

Rohit Sharma 

Extreme rainfall 

SL vs AFG

(Match 6: Group B)

05th September 2023

(Tuesday) 

Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (Pakistan)  SL: 291-8 (50 overs)

AFG: 289

(37.4 overs)

Sri Lanka won by 2 runs Kusal Medis

Sunny/clear sky

BAN vs PAK 

(Match 1: Super fours) 

06th September 2023

(Wednesday) 

Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (Pakistan)  BAN: 193

(38.4 overs)

PAK: 194-3

(39.3 overs) 

Pakistan won by 7 wickets Haris Rauf

Sunny/clear sky

After witnessing the above match results at venues in Pakistan and Sri Lanka (till date), it is evident that teams playing in Pakistan had the opportunity to play a complete 50-over game without any interruptions, favored with the clear weather conditions.

In contrast, the matches played at Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka proved to be a spoilsport of the game with extreme rainfall. Seriously, the IND vs. PAK match of Asia Cup 2023 on 2nd September 2023, was one of the most hype-creating contests for all fans, concluded in disappointment as the game was canceled during the 2nd innings before Pakistan could chase the target against India and was declared ” NO RESULT” due to severe rainfall.

Upcoming Super 4 matches and finals of Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka(Colombo)

The upcoming Super 4 matches and finals of Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka( Colombo ), create frustration among many cricket fans as well as higher authorities of the cricket council (ICC board members) seeing the weather forecast.

It is predicted to experience extreme rainfall in Colombo till late September 2023, as the important stage of Asia Cup 2023 is scheduled at the same venue as listed below:

Match

Date and Day Timings Venue

Weather forecast on match day 

SL vs  BAN

(Match 2: Super fours)

09th September 2023 ( Saturday) 03:00 pm IST/ 09:30 am GMT R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo Cloudy/ Rainy

IND vs PAK

(Match 3: Super fours)

10th September 2023(Sunday) 03:00 pm IST/ 09:30 am GMT R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Cloudy/ Rainy

IND vs SL

(Match 4: Super fours)

12th September 2023 ( Tuesday) 03:00 pm IST/ 09:30 am GMT R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Cloudy/ Rainy

PAK vs SL

(Match 5: Super fours)

14th September 2023 (Thursday) 03:00 pm IST/ 09:30 am GMT R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Cloudy/ Rainy

IND vs BAN

(Match 6: Super fours)

15th September 2023 (Friday) 03:00 pm IST/ 09:30 am GMT R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Cloudy/ Rainy

TBD vs TBD
Finals
17th September  2023 (Sunday) 03:00 pm IST/ 09:30 am GMT R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Cloudy/ Rainy

*NOTE*: Here “TBD” means “To Be Decided”

After observing the above schedule of the upcoming matches of Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka, it is disappointing that despite cloudy or rainy conditions till late September, the Super Fours and Finals of this Tournament are located at the same venue- Colombo.

Though the DLS method (Duckworth- Lewis-Stern method) may seem to be an alternative option of providing the flexibility to play under reduced overs and calculated target in case of extreme rainy conditions, it may sometimes backfire on the winning outcome of the well-performing team by favoring its opposition.

Also, the DLS method results in best-performing players losing their consistent form due to continuous interruptions, reduced overs with modified target scores, and a lack of focus on the game.

The reason behind Hosting Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka: A questionable decision by ACC(Asian Cricket Council)

Previously, the Asia Cup 2022 was hosted in UAE (United Arab Emirates) which took place between 27th August 2022 (Saturday) to 11th September 2022 (Sunday). Initially, Sri Lanka was proposed with the option to host the grand tournament alongside the UAE. However, the secretary of SLC (Sri Lanka Cricket)- “Mohan de Silva”, had to reject the offer due to the continuous financial crisis and huge protests across the country. Also, the increasing number of COVID situations in Sri Lanka during that time forced the ACC to select the UAE as the sole venue for the tournament.

This Year, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) along with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreed to host the Asia Cup 2023 tournament in Pakistan, which was the only location preferred. Later, the secretary of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and president of ACC- “Jay Shah” refused to allow their players to travel to Pakistan because of the political issues between both nations.

Also, the weather conditions in the UAE naturally vary from 35 to 40°C (commonly observed between August to September), which makes it extremely difficult for players to deliver their best performance under hot climatic conditions.

The reason why the UAE was granted access to host Asia Cup 2022 in hot climatic conditions unlike this year is due to the change in the format of the tournament. Typically, players can actively perform for shorter game formats like T20Is in UAE, but the situation is completely the opposite for longer formats like a 50-over game per side in ODIs.

It is clear that the Asia Cup 2022 was a T20I game format whereas the ongoing tournament is a 50-overs game format.

Since the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 is scheduled to be hosted in India from 5th October 2023 and with the concerns of monsoons still persisting in some parts of India as of September 2023, it is completely impossible to host Asia Cup 2023 at this venue.

Compelled by the pressurized situation, the ACC decided to opt for a neutral venue where India and Pakistan could play matches against each other without any political issues. To proceed with the hybrid mode venue, Sri Lanka was given the preference to co-host the tournament along with Pakistan.

Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka
Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka: An acceptable or regrettable decision by ACC?

What happened during the match between Pakistan and Bangladesh?

Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), protested against the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) to shift the venues of the upcoming matches from Sri Lanka to Pakistan by complaining about the poor weather conditions for the forthcoming Super Fours and finals of this tournament.

But, fans on Social media started giving counter replies by pointing out the poor management of PCB in the recent match between Pakistan and Bangladesh that took place on 6th September 2023.

During the recent match between Pakistan and Bangladesh, the game was halted due to the floodlight failure at Lahore, Pakistan.

Many fans started tweeting by stating that the matches in Sri Lanka were canceled due to poor weather conditions which cannot be controlled by any human being. However, the match in Pakistan was halted due to a poor management system as they were incapable of hosting four matches but demanded to host the entire tournament on a solo basis.

BCCI vs PCB: Why did BCCI refuse to accept the change in the venue of the Super Four matches of Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka?

According to the latest news, the Pakistan Cricket Board(PCB) urged the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to change the venue of Super Four matches and finals from Colombo to Hambantota (The southeastern part of Sri Lanka), to play matches under suitable weather conditions.

But, the BCCI refrained from traveling from Colombo to Hambantota. The reason behind BCCI not allowing their players to travel to Hambantota is because of the lack of hotels available that are close to the stadium. Also, it becomes impossible to accommodate four international teams in a place where there is no proper facility of hotels.

In fact, the ACC should have planned and hosted tournaments by considering important factors like weather conditions, venue, accommodation facilities, management, etc.

Probably, there are fewer chances for Asia Cup 2023 to become one of the most successful tournaments, unlike its previous editions due to the lack of planning and improper execution by the ACC.

Recently, PCB Chief “Najam Sethi” targets BCCI by posing a challenging question “Is Team India afraid to lose against Pakistan on 10th September 2023?” 

The above question asked by the PCB chief against BCCI seems to be illogical as Team India has gained many victories against Pakistan in tournaments like the ICC T20 World Cup, ICC World Cup, Asia Cup, and ICC Champions Trophy for many years.

Not only the Indian cricket team but also other international cricket teams refrain from traveling to places like Hambantota where there is a lack of accommodation available for players.

Can Team India give a proper answer to the challenging question asked by PCB Chief “Najam Sethi” by winning the match against Pakistan on 10th September 2023(Sunday), at Colombo?

Will rain threaten to be a spoilsport of the game in the Super Fours and Finals of the Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka? 

Can Team India clinch the Asia Cup 2023 once again by overcoming the challenges imposed under extreme rainy conditions? 

The answer to the above questions will be soon known in the upcoming matches of Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka at Colombo…

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