Sri Lanka is ready to step in and host the Asia Cup one-day tournament and the World Twenty20 if the two events are pulled out of violence-plagued Bangladesh, a top official said on Friday.
The Asia Cup had been scheduled to be held between February 24 and March 7 in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, which has been hit by violent protests and strikes in the build-up to Sunday’s general election.
Bangladesh is also due to host the 16-nation World Twenty20 tournament, the nation’s biggest ever sporting event, from March 16 to April 6.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is meeting in Colombo on Saturday to decide if the regional competition that features India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh can go ahead in Dhaka.
"We are ready to host the Asia Cup if the ACC wants another venue," Sri Lanka Cricket’s secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said in Colombo. "We have the grounds and the necessary infrastructure to host an event like that at short notice. We are also ready to host the World Twenty20 if we are asked."
Election-related violence in Bangladesh has claimed more than 140 lives since late October, with opposition parties boycotting the polls and organising a series of blockades across the country. The three venues chosen for the World Twenty20 — Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet — have all experienced violence over the past month.
A spokesman for the ICC said last month that the world body was "actively monitoring" the situation in Bangladesh.