Final decision over the venue for the last leg of the Asia ODI Series yet to be made

By Real11 - Sep 5 2023 184 Views

No clarity yet on venue for final leg of Asia ODI Series fixtures 

A stalemate between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has hurled the planning for the final leg of the Asia ODI Series into a tangle. 

Over the last two days, the ACC took notable steps towards shifting the last five Asia ODI Series matches to Hambantota- PCB was on board with the move given the inclement weather in Colombo, but the ACC since then has turned its back and informed PCB that these fixtures will be played in Colombo as originally announced. 

This has caused serious distress to the PCB, and thus have called for an immediate  meeting with ACC to resolve the issue. 

First of all, PCB officials have their doubts over the Colombo matches- including the Super Four Pakistan vs India match- could be affected by rain; the city has seen considerable rain over the last few days, resulting in flooding in some areas not very far from the Khettarama Stadium. 

Then, they are infuriated that the ACC seems to be taking the decision despotically on the scheduling of a competition the PCB is hosting. Within less than an hour after the ACC sent out a mail to the stakeholders confirming Hambantota as the new venue, the ACC dispatched another mail, contradicting the PCB, stating that matches would stay in Colombo.

The PCB at first wanted the entire tournament to be played in Pakistan, but the Indian Cricket Board declined this on the account that their government would not permit the Indian team to go to Pakistan. Majority of the tournament was then moved to Sri Lanka.   

This looked a viable compromise, until the Pakistan vs India match in Pallekele was called off due to rain on Saturday, encouraging fears the whole event would be gravely affected by the weather. 

In any event, Sri Lankan Board chief executive Ashley de Silva said that Colombo will “certainly”  host the matches as currently scheduled. He said only initial talks were held over moving the fixtures to Hambantota, and no confirmation had been provided to any stakeholders that the shift was surely happening. 

However, many sources had claimed that all boards had given a green light to move the matches to Hambantota, and that only operational challenges remained to be tackled for such a move to successfully go through. 

 "A lot of fans had already made arrangements to watch the matches in Colombo," de Silva offered as one reason why the remaining games would be played in Colombo as scheduled. "Also in the last few days it hasn't been raining as much in Colombo."

De Silva also mentioned Sri Lanka’s history of organising One Dayers, which it has mostly done in spite of the weather. Over the last ten years, only five out of eight four men’s ODI have not reached an end. Of the abandoned fixtures, Saturday’s game was the only one to be called off in the month of September, which traditionally is not a particularly month known for rains. 

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