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Under-19 Cricket World Cup moved from Sri Lanka to South Africa


Sri Lanka cricket:Sri Lanka Next year’s Under-19 World Cup has been scrapped, the International Cricket Council said on Tuesday, after the island nation’s board was suspended for making political allegations.

The tournament will now take place in South Africa, the game’s governing body said after a meeting of its board in the Indian city of Ahmedabad. The 16-nation tournament is scheduled to take place from 13 January to 4 February. As a result of losing the right to host the tournament, Sri Lanka is set to lose a $2.4 million grant from the ICC to develop venues, the local cricket board claimed.

The ICC suspended Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) earlier this month, saying it had failed to ensure there was no government interference in its affairs. Sri Lanka can continue to compete internationally but funding for SLC will be controlled by the ICC.

The suspension came after the Sri Lankan parliament asked the board to withdraw from allegations made by sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe that it had taken millions of dollars.

The ICC has rules against political interference and Sri Lanka has been suspended before. Sri Lanka Cricket said the loss of the U-19 competition was a “big blow” to the morale of the young players, and a significant loss of money for the country.

“This decision is something that saddens the entire nation,” the board’s assistant secretary Krishantha Kapuwatte told reporters in Colombo. “We have been working hard for the last four months to prepare our centers for the competition”.

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In a statement issued after its Board meeting, the ICC said, “After hearing a representation from SLC, the ICC Board has decided that Sri Lanka can continue to compete internationally in bilateral and ICC cricket events after has recently been suspended for breaching his obligations as a Member. especially the requirement to manage its affairs independently and without interference from the government.”

However, funding for SLC will be controlled by the ICC and the ICC Board.

SLC president Shammi Silva recently warned that the country could lose hosting rights to the U-19 World Cup, which was due to take place from January 13 to February 4, if government interference continues.

In a statement issued on Monday, SLC said, “Although SLC focuses on resolving the suspension issue, it appears that the sports minister is pursuing a different agenda by manipulating the media without pursuing legal avenues to address to bring the allegations.”

“This raises concerns about his intention to influence public opinion and other interested parties to achieve his objective of taking control of SLC by abusing his powers.

“SLC demands a fair and impartial examination of the facts and remains focused on its mission of upholding the integrity of cricket in Sri Lanka and is confident that the truth will prevail in time.”

(With agency input)

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