Shoriful Islam delivers a ball as coach Russell Domingo looks on during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. AFP
The Asia Cup Twenty20 cricket tournament due to be held in Sri Lanka in June has been called off because of the worsening coronavirus crisis in the region, a top organiser said on Wednesday.
The tournament was already held over from last year in Pakistan due to the pandemic.
"Due to the prevailing situation, it will not be possible to play the tournament in June this year," Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva told reporters.
He said the event may have to be put back until after the 2023 50-over World Cup because most teams had already planned schedules for the next two years.
De Silva said the Asian Cricket Council would soon make a formal announcement.
Sri Lankan cricketers stretch during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. AFP
Coronavirus infections have spread rapidly across South Asia in recent weeks with many nations banning flights from the region.
Sri Lanka on Wednesday announced a 10-day ban on airline passengers coming into the country. However, Sri Lanka's national team is currently in Bangladesh to play three one-day internationals.
"There is no doubt that cricket owes Shashank a debt of gratitude for all he has done for the sport. He has left cricket and the ICC in a better place than he found it,” Khwaja said in a statement.
Rumours are already swirling around for the UAE to be the likely host to complete the 14th edition of the IPL, which was abandoned in the mid-way after coronavirus cases were reported in the bubble.
The IPL, the world's richest cricket tournament, was half finished when it was halted on May 4 after a number of players and team officials caught coronavirus despite being in bio-secure bubbles.
A number of experienced campaigners were left out as PCB chief selector Mohammad Wasim announced the national squad for next month's T20 World Cup as well as the home series against New Zealand and England.
India and Pakistan are set to renew rivalry in a spine-tingling and the most anticipated clash of the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday.
Namibia reached the Twenty20 World Cup second round for the first time on Friday when they defeated Ireland by eight wickets.World number 19 Namibia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, chased down their modest target of 126 with skipper Gerhard Erasmus making an unbeaten 53.
Fans from both the nations have shown immense interest in watching Sunday's game in Dubai as tickets for the key contest were sold out hours after they went on sale early this month.
Ireland and Namibia face off in a knockout clash of the T20 World Cup with a Super 12 berth at stake in Sharjah on Friday. The match will mark the exit for the loser while winners will punch a ticket for the Super 12, which gets under way on Oct.23.