Dubai: The ICC on Tuesday announced the relocation of the upcoming men’s Under-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa. This decision comes 11 days after the ICC provisionally suspended Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) due to government interference. The move followed SLC’s notification to the ICC about the interference, amidst an ongoing conflict between SLC and the Sports Ministry.
Allegations of corruption and mismanagement have strained relations between the government and SLC officials. The ICC Board member confirmed the decision to shift the U19 World Cup to South Africa, with approval granted during the ICC Board meeting in Ahmedabad. The tournament is scheduled to take place from January 13 to February 4, 2023.
SLC President Shammi Silva had previously warned of the potential loss of hosting rights if government interference persisted. In response, SLC released a statement expressing concerns about the Sports Minister’s actions, emphasizing the need for a fair examination of facts and a focus on upholding cricket’s integrity in Sri Lanka. The impact on Sri Lanka’s bilateral and domestic cricket is expected to be minimal due to the relocation of the U19 World Cup.