16 Apr

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has submitted an expression of interest to host two global flagship tournaments of the International Cricket Council (ICC) between the years 2023-31.

SLC CEO Ashley de Silva told the Indian Daily News “Yes, we have shown interest for two events which we cannot disclose at this stage because of the confidentiality”.

The ICC invited expressions of interest (EOI) from its members for events in the 2023-31 cycle in February and according to De Silva they have submitted EOI for two of the man events.

“Once you show the expression of interest it’s a matter of them (ICC) calling for bids. Nobody will know who has shown interest. We don’t know what other countries that have shown interest. It’s only the ICC who does it very discreetly,” he said. De Silva did disclose, however, that Sri Lanka “is going for the main ones in the men’s events”.

The three main men’s events that the ICC hosts are the Cricket ODI World Cup, the World T20 and the Champions Trophy, and quite recently the World Test Championship. This is besides the Under 19 World Cup and the Women’s World Cup and the Women’s World T20 tournaments. Sri Lanka has not hosted an ICC event since the ICC World T20 in 2012.

In the past Sri Lanka has hosted two Cricket World Cups jointly with India and Pakistan in 1996 and jointly with India and Bangladesh in 2011. They have also hosted the World T20 men’s and women’s tournament in 2012, the Champions Trophy in 2002 and the under 19 World Cup in 2000 and 2006.

In response to the EOI communication sent out to all members’ boards, including the associate nations, the ICC had a lukewarm response from some of the big cricket nations as India, England and Australia decided to opt out until the bilateral series for the same period get finalized.

The ICC plans to schedule one world event every year from 2023 to 2031 with the introduction of two additional world events – a 10-nation T20 Champions Cup in 2024 and 2028.

Apart from the eight main men’s events, the ICC is also seeking bidders for the same number of women’s events, the World Test Championship finals in alternate years as well as U-19 World Cups to be staged every two years.

Reuters reported: “ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney toured several member countries encouraging bids following the governing body’s decision to select hosts of future events through a bidding process”.

John Stephenson


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