Sunil Gavaskar wants ‘real story’ behind Asia Cup venue fiasco

NEW DELHI: Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar expressed his curiosity over the undisclosed reasons behind the decision not to relocate the Asia Cup Super Four matches from Colombo to the drier Hambantota, emphasizing the importance of considering the broader perspective in such situations.
The Asia Cup, currently under the management of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), is following a ‘Hybrid Model’ where the Indian team is playing all their matches in Sri Lanka due to their reluctance to travel to Pakistan.
Given the expected heavy rainfall in Colombo throughout the week, there had been discussions about moving the matches to the more rain-resistant Hambantota.
However, the Asian Cricket Council opted to adhere to the original schedule, prompting Gavaskar’s desire to uncover the ‘real story’ behind this decision.
“Well, somebody should find the real story. It appears from cricketing points, that it was probably the players who didn’t want to go to Hambantota.
“So administrators, had to at last moment, change it from Hambantota to Colombo despite knowing Colombo could have pretty dicey weather,” Gavaskar told ‘Sports Today’.
But the former India captain clarified that he was not referring to players from any particular country.
“When I meant players, I didn’t mean players of one team but players of all teams that were supposed to be there,” he said.
Gavaskar also sympathized with administrators as often they get the rough end of the stick from the fans, who are missing out on quality cricket due to inclement weather.
“It is easy to point fingers at administrators and they can be easily made scapegoats. It is really important to find out why despite knowing that weather forecast of Colombo won’t be good, matches were not held in Hambantota,” he said.
Gavaskar is not averse to modern day players having a say in scheduling of matches but he also wants them to be accommodating when there are some unforseen circumstances, like poor weather in this case.
Rain can also play spoilsport on September 10 when India are scheduled to face Pakistan for the second time in the tournament. The first game between the arch-rivals was called off due to rain.
“Obviously, you want players to be in good mental space. The gym facilities, practice facilities need to be good but at times like these, we need to look at the larger picture and Hambantota had less chance of rain and Colombo has more chance of rain.
“And when I say experimentation, it is a chance to prepare for the World Cup. But by no means I am saying that Asia Cup is less important. We also need to win the tournament,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)

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