It was not a pleasant experience when Team India came to Sri Lanka under the captaincy of current coach Dravid to play a triangular series in the month of August.
The third team was from South Africa. On that 2006 tour, from 14th August to 29th August, seven one-day matches were canceled one after the other in Colombo and a world record was also created. After that a bomb blast occurred in Colombo and the African team hurriedly packed their bags and returned.
The Sri Lankan team looked in dire straits as they were about to suffer huge financial losses. Then the BCCI said that there is nothing to be disappointed about, we play a three-match ODI series. But, as if Indradev was in hatha yoga at that time, and because of that only 22 balls could be bowled in a match, and finally that series was also canceled.
In the history of cricket, such a big series between three teams did not end in just 22 balls during two weeks. The Asia Cup of 2023 may not be able to break the very bad record of that series, but in this game of sun and shade, tough questions have started to arise regarding the organization of the Asia Cup.
Only one innings could be completed in the very important league match between India and Pakistan. Pakistan's team could not play even a single ball. The second match of the tournament between hosts Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the Pallikele Stadium, about half an hour away from Kandy, was completed despite a drizzle.
But, in the match between Nepal and India, the same danger is visible due to rain, which was between the India-Pakistan match. Not only this, the situation in Sri Lanka is now such that the second phase of the tournament, i.e. Super 4 matches to be held in Colombo, is in great danger.
The chances of rain in Colombo are very less in the first and second week of September and hence the hosting for the Asia Cup has been given to the same city. From the year 2015, five T-20s and four ODIs were organized at the Khetrama ground, in which only two matches were interrupted by rain, while all the matches were completed.
Jay Shah, the head of the Asian Cricket Council and secretary of the BCCI, probably keeping this in mind, had given the Super 4 matches to Colombo. Their facilities are also good and spectators also join in large numbers.
But, now it is raining heavily in some parts of Colombo and in the coming one week there is a possibility that the matches could not be played there at all. In such a situation, the Asian Cricket Council is meeting continuously and preparations are going on for alternative cities.
The first name in this is Dambulla, which is considered to be a dry city. The name of this city was suggested by the Sri Lankan officials even before the start of the Asia Cup.
But it is believed that two big teams were not ready to play matches in Dambulla, because there is a lack of basic facilities regarding cricket, as well as the hotels there are not of the level of hosting any international team. In such a situation, if the remaining matches are held in Dambulla under compulsion, then many critics will get a chance.
Hambantota's stadium is also being discussed as another option. But this ground is in the middle of the forest and there is also a problem with the hotel. If such a big tournament goes to that city, then how to organize the gathering of media from broadcast to the whole world, will become a big problem.
Overall, hosting the Asia Cup has become a big headache for Pakistan. Even before the tournament was organized, India had made it clear that they could not tour Pakistan at any cost.
Pakistan constantly tried to put pressure on BCCI and even threatened that it would not come to India for the ODI World Cup if Team India did not come to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.
But this did not happen and the Indian team is playing matches in Sri Lanka instead of Pakistan.
The match between India and Pakistan was washed out due to rain. Former PCB chief Najam Sethi called it disappointing on the social media platform X that day. He has written that as the PCB chairman, he had appealed to the ACC that the matches should be held in the UAE, but this was not done. Najam Sethi has called it politics on sports and has also written that it cannot be forgiven.
In this round, Babar Azam's team had to play the first match in Multan, the second in Kandy, and the third now in Lahore. Then they will have to come to Colombo for the fourth match.
But, the way the rain is playing out, it is possible that not only Pakistan will have to play the remaining matches in Dambulla or Hambantota or Kandy again, but Team India and the other two teams that have reached Super 4 will also face the same problem. May have to go through it.
On that Sri Lankan tour of 2006, Mohammad Kaif and Irfan Pathan had also come as players, and this time they have come as commentators. Jokingly, Both these players are also telling jokes while remembering the 2006 rain series.