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Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier on Wednesday independently confirmed the cancellation of the Asia cup due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

PCB chief Ehsan Mani confirmed the news and also added that the decision was mainly taken as part of safety reasons of the players and the officials included. He further added that the Board has jointly agreed to host the event in 2022 and with the current scenario, it is expected that Sri Lanka will be hosting the tournament next year.

"The Board was initially going to host it but, when we looked at the pandemic situation in United Arab Emirates(UAE),Pakistan and other South Asian countries, the only country which was ahead of the cycle was Sri Lanka and most likely to conduct the event", the PCB Chief told PTI (news agency).

"The ACC(Asian Cricket Council) is looking to organize it next year. It is too dangerous to host it this year with this current situation worsening.We had swapped the event with Sri Lanka this year because it is one of the least affected from the virus," the veteran further added.

"Sri Lanka Cricket Board and PCB had a talk over it and we put forward the swap proposal to the Asian Cricket Council and it was approved by the board. There was no politics involved whatsoever, it was just for the sake of preserving cricket and nothing else," Mani added.

Earlier on Wednesday,BCCI ( Board of Control for Cricket in India) president Sourav Ganguly, confirmed that the Asia Cup 2020 has been called off due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Asia Cup was scheduled to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September of this year.Though the tournament taking place was always in doubt,The BCCI president put the doubts to bed by officially confirming the cancellation of the tournament. Ganguly made the announcement a day before the Asian Cricket Council meeting was scheduled to take place (July 9th).

Sourav Ganguly and Ehsan Mani   Asia Cup
Sourav Ganguly and Ehsan Mani (Image Credits: TheCricketTimes)

The former Indian captain turned 48 on Wednesday,confirmed the news through an Instagram live session with Vikrat Gupta. When asked about the return of the Indian cricketers to action,He stated that it is still unclear on when the players would return to action.

The Men in Blue were last seen in the action during the Test series against The Black Cap,where India lost the series 2-0. Team India was scheduled to play South Africa in a three match ODI series, but was later cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic,with the first match being washed-out without a ball being bowled in Dharamshala.

The former Indian captain also made a point in congratulating the ECB and the Cricket West Indies for conducting the three-match Test series, which also marks the first International series to be played post COVID-19 lockdown.

"It is very difficult to say which would be the  Indian team's first international series post lock down. We have done our preparations but we can't do much till we know the government rules and decisions. We are not at all in a hurry because the health of players is of the utmost importance for us. We are monitoring things on a monthly basis," said Ganguly. 

Ganguly further spoke on the importance of Indian Premier League (IPL) for the financial structure of the BCCI. Though not much was spoken on the possible dates for the Grand T20 tournament, it seems like the slot for September-November remains open.

Cover Credits : India Today