In a major development, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to shift the upcoming Under-19 Cricket World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa. The decision was made after the ICC provisionally suspended Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) due to government interference in administrative affairs.
Sri Lanka was originally scheduled to host the 15th edition of the tournament from January 13 to February 4, 2024, with 16 teams participating in the marquee event. However, the ICC's decision to suspend SLC has thrown the tournament's hosting plans into disarray.
The ICC's decision to suspend SLC stems from a series of incidents in which the Sri Lankan government has interfered in SLC's internal affairs. This interference has been a major source of concern for the ICC, which has repeatedly called on the Sri Lankan government to respect SLC's autonomy.
Given the current situation in Sri Lanka, the ICC has decided that it would be impractical to hold the Under-19 World Cup in the country. As a result, the tournament has been shifted to South Africa, which has a proven track record of successfully hosting major cricket tournaments.
The ICC's decision is a major setback for Sri Lanka Cricket, which was hoping to use the Under-19 World Cup to showcase its cricketing talents to the world. However, the ICC's decision is also a necessary step to protect the integrity of the game and to ensure that the Under-19 World Cup is held in a country that can provide a stable and independent environment for the tournament.