Last week, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) moved out the Asia Cup 2022 from Sri Lanka to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The decision was unanimously taken by the ACC board after much deliberation, keeping in mind the ongoing economic and political crisis in the island nation.
While Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) retained the hosting rights, the multi-nation tournament will now be held in the desert country from August 27 to September 11.
Amid the recent development, SLC secretary Mohan de Silva said that the “negative publicity” of the country forced them to take this tough call.
"They felt that the situation in Sri Lanka was not conducive to garner the confidence of the stakeholders. Not only the member countries, but a tournament of this magnitude requires other stakeholders, like the broadcasters, sponsors, etc," ESPNcricinfo quoted Mohan de Silva as saying during a media briefing.
"What they felt was that the negative publicity shown all over the world, with the petrol queues and all that, didn't help our cause," he added.
Commenting further on the Asia Cup, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said: "Sponsors were finding it difficult to get insured, and the security clearance for broadcast crews to enter Sri Lanka was also an issue. The delegates who wanted to come from the other countries also weren't prepared to come."
While announcing the move to shift the Asia Cup from Sri Lanka to UAE, ACC President Jay Shah earlier said: "Considering the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka, the ACC after extensive deliberation has unanimously concluded that it would be appropriate to relocate the tournament from Sri Lanka to the UAE."
"Every effort was made to host the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and the decision to shift the venue to the UAE was taken after much deliberation. The UAE will be the new venue while Sri Lanka will continue to retain hosting rights."
"We were really looking forward to hosting our Asian neighbours in Sri Lanka for the much-anticipated Asia Cup. While I fully stand by the ACC's decision to shift the Asia Cup to UAE considering the current context and the magnitude of the event, Sri Lanka Cricket will work closely with the ACC and Emirates Cricket Board to ensure that we still have an exciting edition of the Asia Cup," Sri Lanka Cricket chief Shammi Silva said.