The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is contemplating relocating Super Four round matches away from Colombo if wet weather continues to influence the Asia Cup schedule.
Officials from Sri Lanka Cricket and the PCB have verified to C2Dcricinfo that they are considering alternative Sri Lankan venues where relatively dryer weather is predicted.
Even though it is not monsoon season in Sri Lanka, Colombo has experienced heavy rainfall in recent days, resulting in inundation in sections of the city’s northern extremities near the Khettarama Stadium.
This, along with the cancellation of Saturday’s Pakistan-India match in Pallekele, has prompted new discussions between the ACC and Disney Star*.
September is typically not a particularly wet month in Colombo, as the northeast monsoon begins in October.
Since 2015, the Khettarama ground, which will host five Super Four games and the final between September 6th and 17th, has hosted five men’s T20Is and four men’s ODIs during September driving up the total to eleven resident matches. Only two of these contests were reduced due to rain.
It is unclear whether tournament organizers consulted Sri Lankan meteorologists. Officials C2Dcricinfo spoke with were unable to provide specifics regarding the upcoming weeks’ weather in Colombo. Instead, the cancellation of the marquee India-Pakistan match has caused concern.
If matches are relocated outside of Colombo, an alternate venue will be required. Dambulla had been suggested as a possible venue, but it is understood that India was not satisfied with the hotel and accommodation facilities there, and SLC officials claim there is ongoing work on the stadium floodlights, a long-standing issue that the board presumably has not adequately addressed.
Dambulla is located in Sri Lanka’s “dry zone” and consequently receives significantly less precipitation than Kandy and Colombo during this time of year.
Hambantota, which is also located on the boundary between the arid and rainy zones, could be a viable alternative.
However, this stadium is situated on the border of a jungle, and there are no nearby accommodations. Moving contests there would be a logistical burden for Salt Lake City.
It is believed that broadcasters are reluctant to divide the remaining games between two venues because it would necessitate the transportation of apparatus by road or the maintenance of broadcasting infrastructure at two distinct locations in Sri Lanka.
If some or all matches are relocated from Colombo, it will exacerbate scheduling issues that have already plagued the tournament.
The tournament’s official hosts are Pakistan, but India’s refusal to participate there has caused several teams to shuttle back and forth between Pakistan and India.