Sri Lanka’s bid to host ICC World Cup events stalled by COVID-19

Friday, 6 November 2020 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The last ICC World Cup event hosted by Sri Lanka was in 2012 when West Indies (pictured) defeated the hosts to emerge World T20 champions 

By Sa’adi Thawfeeq

Sri Lanka’s bid to host two global flagship tournaments of the ICC between 2023 and 2031 has been stalled by the current COVID-19 pandemic that has prevented the ICC member countries from meeting physically and taking any decisions.

Sri Lanka Cricket president Shammi Silva said that they had already made a bid to host two ICC events – the ICC 50-over World Cup in 2027 and the ICC World T20 in 2030.

“These are not finalised at all because we have not been able to meet,” said Silva.

Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva said: “We have asked to host the two events after the 2023 cycle but nothing has been finalised. The ICC only sought interest from the member countries. This was done with a view of obtaining the facts from the countries, but they haven’t had even an internal discussion on it so far, most probably because of COVID-19.”

“Once they sit and decide on the proper model where the ICC events will be held, then they will table it at the board meeting and take a call,” continued De Silva.

“I don’t think a board meeting will take place in the immediate future. They have been having board meetings in teams but they haven’t met physically,” De Silva added.

Due to the pandemic the ICC had to postpone the Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia in October this year to 2022 with India hosting the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2021 as planned.

The ICC invited expression of interest from its members for events in the 2023-31 cycle and Sri Lanka along with 17 other members have shown interest in holding the 28 events proposed for the cycle.

Sri Lanka has not hosted an ICC event since the ICC World T20 in 2012.

Since becoming a full member of the ICC in 1981, Sri Lanka has hosted six ICC World Cup events – two 50-over World Cups in 1996 (jointly with India and Pakistan) and 2011 (jointly with India and Bangladesh), one Champions Trophy in 2002, one Men’s T20 World Cup in 2012, and two Under 19 World Cups in 2000 and 2006.