Asia Cup 2023: Due to adverse weather conditions in Sri Lanka’s capital city, the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, initially scheduled for Colombo, is now likely to be relocated to Hambantota. An official announcement from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is anticipated later today, as Sri Lanka Cricket proposes Hambantota, situated in the southeast of the island, as a suitable alternative venue for the tournament.
ACC considering alternative venues for Asia Cup 2023
The Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, including the highly-anticipated India vs. Pakistan match, is originally planned for Sunday at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium. However, due to heavy rainfall in Colombo over the weekend and Monday, the ACC is considering alternative venues to minimize the impact of rain on matches. During the Sri Lanka leg of the tournament, the India vs. Pakistan match in Pallekele on Saturday was abandoned due to rain, while on Monday, Rohit Sharma’s team secured a victory over Nepal in a rain-shortened game, winning by 10 wickets.
Discussions have been ongoing since Sunday to relocate the matches away from Colombo, with Pallekele and Dambulla also under consideration. However, due to unfavourable weather forecasts for Pallekele and ongoing maintenance at the Rangiri Stadium in Dambulla, Hambantota has emerged as the preferred alternative venue. Among the options being weighed, Hambantota appears to be the more secure choice as it typically experiences less rainfall during the month of September.
Challenges for Hambantota
The ACC is currently addressing logistical challenges in Hambantota, where the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sooriyawewa is located in close proximity to a jungle, and the nearest team hotel is situated 45 kilometers away. At present, a primary concern revolves around securing an adequate number of hotel rooms to accommodate the four participating teams, the broadcast crew, which includes commentators, and match officials.
The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) remains interested in retaining the Super 4 stage in Colombo, expressing optimism that the weather forecast will improve in the coming week. Additionally, the SLC is mindful of the logistical challenges that may arise if the tournament is relocated to Hambantota.