August 10, 2022
Security issues, negative publicity among reasons to move Asia Cup


Sri Lanka Cricket has revealed that difficulties in obtaining insurance, as well as logistical and safety concerns, were some of the issues raised by sponsors and broadcasters, which led to the move of the Asia Cup from Sri Lanka to the United Arab Emirates.

“He felt that the situation in Sri Lanka was not conducive to gain the confidence of the stakeholders,” SLC secretary Mohan de Silva told a media briefing.

“Not only member countries, but a tournament of this magnitude requires other stakeholders, such as broadcasters, sponsors, etc. What they realized was that there was no negative publicity shown with petrol queues around the world. . Help our cause.”

That “negative propaganda” refers to the economic crisis currently prevailing in Sri Lanka, where a combination of high debt and low foreign exchange, compounded by poor financial management by the Sri Lankan government, has given way to fuel and food shortages. This resulted in months of protests calling for the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President. After a large number of protesters gathered in Colombo, they finally acceded to these demands last month. However, the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe in his place has not changed the public sentiment.

It was the tense country’s state that made it impossible for many broadcast workers to have security clearances to enter the country.

SLC CEO Ashley Day explained, “Sponsors were finding it difficult to obtain insurance, and security clearance was also an issue for the broadcast crew to enter Sri Lanka. Delegates who wanted to come from other countries also came. Were not ready for it.” Silva.

In addition, the bilateral tours against Australia and Pakistan went uninterrupted when hosted – even despite reaching its peak during the second Test against Australia, and the frequent presence of protesters outside Galle Stadium – It is understood that the logistics of providing accommodation, security and transportation for one foreign team at a time was a much simpler task for many stakeholders involved in tournaments such as the Asia Cup than to be done.

It didn’t help Sri Lanka that the Lanka Premier League, which started in the first week of August, was also postponed due to the current situation; Now it will be in November.

“There were concerns about franchise sponsors coming to Sri Lanka. A sponsorship deal not only involves sponsoring the side, but then the sponsors should also be able to travel freely across the country. Sponsors should be able to give prominence to their brands. come to, and they felt that at this point in time such a tournament would not necessarily benefit them.”

That said, despite all these concerns, several member states of the Asian Cricket Council went ahead with hosting the tournament largely with Sri Lanka – a decision as to how long was left up to date – although the major issue was none of these. Even if the tournament had been cancelled, the Board would have been able to ignore the potentially “huge financial loss”. This was down to the fact that the Asia Cup is a tournament that helps the ACC raise funds for their development work – money that is shared between member countries.

“It would have been done a long time ago if it was some other country. All the other countries were very supportive of having the tournament here, which is why they kept delaying the final decision.

“But they felt that a tournament of this magnitude, given the current situation, could not be played here. They did not want to take any risk, because if the tournament was cancelled, all members would have to fund the ACC. the next two years.”

However, there is a silver lining for SLC, which has retained the hosting rights of the tournament, even though it is now scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates. This means that SLC will still receive a substantial amount of about $6.5 million from ACC.

Ashley de Silva detailed the expenditure, noting that the UAE would use the revenue from ticket sales to pay for the expenses related to the tournament, which Sri Lanka had hosted, as a “hosting fee”. The $2.5 million distributed would have used up. “To pay for the same and kept ticket sales as profits. However, Sri Lanka would still receive a “hosting fee” as well as a percentage of ticket sales.

“Normally the revenue generated from broadcast and ground rights goes to the ACC, which at the end of the tournament distributes these funds to the member countries participating in this tournament. It ranges between 2-3 million depending on the profit. Generates tournaments.

“Out of the rest of the funds, some part of it is given to the host of the tournament. This allows us to provide accommodation and conduct the entire tournament in the country. This comes in the form of host fee. And the hosts do what they do. Usually only ticket money is received – this is the profit that the host board makes.

“So this $2.5 million used to go towards housing for players, officials and tournament-related logistical expenses. We would have made a maximum of $200,000-300,000. On top of that we would have also made some revenue from ticket sales. And then there’s the distribution fund which All teams get

“Now, the UAE will only get ticket sales, which they will use to run the entire tournament.” [Sri Lanka] You will still get the host fee. In addition, the UAE has also promised us another $1.5 million from ticket sales.”

Although this is more financially than the SLC, which Sri Lanka would have hosted the tournament, the entire country would suffer significant tourism revenue losses.

“If you look at it, we would have created a lot of awareness about the country and brought a lot of tourism to the country, if the situation was normal and we would have organized tournaments here. Then the country would also benefit financially. But still, who The funds we are generating now, that too will come to Sri Lanka.”

There were also two T20Is against India, which were tentatively scheduled after the Asia Cup, which are now off the table.

The Asia Cup is to be played from August 27 to September 11.

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