The concern seems to be related to the weather forecast, which suggests that there will be rain in Colombo until September 20.According to theAsia Cup Super venues confirmed on Tuesday, five out of the six matches are set to take place in Colombo.
Cricket matches can be significantly affected by rain, leading to delays, disruptions, or even cancellations. Therefore, moving the match to a location with more favorable weather conditions, like Hambantota, could potentially ensure a smoother and more reliable tournament schedule.
Sethi’s criticism highlights the importance of considering weather conditions and other logistical factors when organising cricket tournaments, especially high-profile matches like India-Pakistan clashes, which garner significant attention from fans around the world.
Taking to social media platform X, formerly Twitter, Sethi wrote: “BCCI/ACC informed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today that they had decided to shift the next India-Pak match from Colombo to Hambantota because of rain forecasts. Within one hour they changed their mind and announced Colombo as the venue. What’s going on? Is India afraid to play and lose to Pakistan? Look at the rain forecast.”
The highly-anticipated India-Pakistan clash, held at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, was regrettably abandoned due to persistent rain on Saturday.
Sethi, a prominent figure in cricket administration, further emphasised his concerns by sharing visual evidence highlighting the stark contrast in weather conditions between the two cities. He pointed out that Colombo has an alarming 89% chance of experiencing rain on Sunday, while Hambantota boasts a significantly lower 12% chance of precipitation.
Sethi had previously accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) of monopolising the scheduling of the Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka instead of the UAE, despite the known rainy season in Sri Lanka. He recommended that the BCCI and ACC consider relocating the tournament to the UAE, especially after the BCCI’s decision not to travel to Pakistan for the tournament.
However, Jay Shah, BCCI secretary and ACC president, rejected Sethi’s claims and said in a statement to the media on Tuesday that all the stakeholders, “were initially hesitant to commit to hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan due to concerns related to the security and economic situation prevailing in the country.”