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Cricket Asia Cup shifted from Sri Lanka to United Arab Emirates

Ongoing political, economic crisis in island nation forces change of venue

The president of Sri Lanka's cricket board said they "fully stand by the ACC's decision" to relocate the tournament.   © Reuters

MUMBAI (Reuters) -- United Arab Emirates will replace Sri Lanka as the venue for the Asia Cup, starting next month, due to the ongoing political and economic crisis in the island nation, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) said.

Sri Lanka will, however, remain hosts for the nine-team tournament, which will be played between Aug. 27-Sept. 11 and serve as preparation for the Asian sides in the lead-up to the Twenty20 World Cup later this year.

The country of 22 million people has been crippled by an economic crisis, with shortages of fuel, food and other necessities. The Sri Lankan parliament on Wednesday approved the extension of a state of emergency for a month.

Shammi Silva, the president of Sri Lanka's cricket board said they "fully stand by the ACC's decision" to relocate the tournament.

"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," ACC president Jay Shah said in a statement.

"The UAE will be the new venue while Sri Lanka will continue to retain hosting rights. This edition of the Asia Cup is extremely important as it will help Asian nations prepare for the ICC World Cup."

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