Asia Cup 2023: ACC Considers Venue Change for Super 4 Matches Amid Colombo Rainfall - Report



The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) finds itself at a crossroads in planning the Super Four stage of the 2023 Asia Cup due to unforeseen weather challenges. Colombo, the designated host for five out of six Super Four games, including the summit clash, has been grappling with heavy rainfall in recent days. As per the initial schedule, R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo was set to take center stage, with only one match scheduled for Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium. However, given the persistent weather conditions in Colombo, contingency plans are now being explored, with Pallekele and Dambulla emerging as potential alternative venues.

The 2023 Asia Cup is adopting a Hybrid Model, with Sri Lanka co-hosting alongside Pakistan, who were initially granted sole hosting rights. This shift came about as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was not granted permission to send the Indian cricket team to Pakistan for the tournament. In this revised setup, Sri Lanka secured the opportunity to play co-host.

According to reports in the Indian Express, Sri Lanka proposed Dambulla as a viable venue due to its relatively dry climate. However, logistical concerns were raised by both broadcasters and participating teams regarding travel to Pallekele and Dambulla. Consequently, Colombo remained the preferred option. Unfortunately, the monsoon season has cast a shadow over this choice, with recent rains affecting Colombo and even Pallekele, leading to the abandonment of the India-Pakistan game on Saturday.

Despite initial hopes of improved weather conditions in Colombo, concerns persist, given the upcoming matches scheduled to begin on September 9. As a result, ACC is contemplating a potential relocation of the tournament to Pallekele. However, uncertainties surrounding the weather at that venue also warrant careful consideration. ACC is expected to make a final decision within the next day or two.

In a related development, former PCB chief Najam Sethi criticized ACC for overlooking repeated concerns regarding weather-related issues in Sri Lanka during September. He pointed out that the option of using the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a secondary venue had been discarded despite these concerns. The situation remains fluid as ACC weighs its options in light of the challenging weather conditions.

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