The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has confirmed that the Asia Cup T20 tournament scheduled to be held this year has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This decision comes a day after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly announced that the competition won't take place in September 2020.
The T20 tournament was supposed to serve as a prelude to the T20 World Cup in Australia but the global event is also under threat of cancellation given the unprecedented crisis caused by the virus.
The Asia Cup, originally a 50-over format, was set to be played in the shortest form of the game for the second time in its history. Pakistan were the designated hosts but the country's cricket board had swapped hosting rights with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) presumably due to India's refusal to tour their neighbouring rivals.
"Travel restrictions, country-specific quarantine requirements, fundamental health risks and social distancing mandates have posed as substantial challenges to the holding of the Asia Cup," the ACC stated in a media release following the Executive Board meeting on Thursday.
The Covid-19 situation has spiralled into a devastating catastrophe in South Asia with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh witnessing a collective death toll of over 28,000.
Although the crisis is not as severe in Sri Lanka, logistical challenges continue to trouble the host nation as international cricket makes a timid resumption elsewhere in England.
Taking into account the various factors, the ACC has pushed the tournament to 2021 as it is working towards securing the month of June as a suitable window for the participating countries.
With Sri Lanka expected to stage the Asia Cup on its shores next year, Pakistan will be hosting the subsequent edition in 2022.
India were the triumphant side in the last Asia Cup held in the United Arab Emirates in 2018. Despite regular skipper Virat Kohli being rested for the competition, Rohit Sharma's India clinched their seventh title by defeating Bangladesh in the final by three wickets.