Asia Cup 2021 has been called off by the Asian Cricket Council due to the COVID-19 situation in Asia. Sri Lanka Cricket which was set to host the tournament confirmed the same through its chief executive Ashley de Silva who stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to conduct a tournament with so many nations.
There has been a huge surge in COVID-19 cases amid the second wave of the pandemic which has affected various sporting events. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) was suspended midway due to a rise in cases after a bio bubble breach while the Indian Premier League (IPL) was also suspended as the pandemic found its way inside the supposedly strict bio-bubbles and affected more than five personnel inside the bubbles.
SLC Chief Ashley de Silva confirms calling off of Asia Cup
Ashley de Silva spoke about the cancelation of the tournament and told AFP, “Due to the prevailing situation, it will not be possible to play the tournament in June this year.” The decision was reportedly taken some time ago and after reporters asking of the same in Sri Lanka, he confirmed it.
The Asia Cup was set to be contested by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Malaysia in the T20I format. However, there were always doubts hanging over the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in its second wave.
The contesting countries also have an extremely tight schedule amidst which it would have been very difficult to conduct it. In fact, it was planned to be held in June initially which would have meant India would have had to go with a team without their Test stars (as they would in the tour of Sri Lanka in July which was announced recently) who are taking part in the World Test Championship (WTC). India are the defending champions in the tournament after they defeated Bangladesh in the final in 2018.