The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to shift the U-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa, with the former's cricket board embroiled in administrative uncertainty after the men's team's poor performance in the 2023 World Cup. Cricbuzz reported that the decision was unanimous, taken during the board meeting on November 21st in Ahmedabad.
On November 10th, Sri Lankan cricket touched a new low as the ICC suspended the entire cricket board due to excessive government interference. The statement issued by the apex body of the sport read:
"The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka. The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course."
A statement by a Cricbuzz source said:
"It was a unanimous decision by the board that the suspension cannot be lifted. Cricket in the country will continue as normal."
Oman and UAE were considered as options:
The U-19 World Cup was slated to take place between January 14th and February 15th. Despite the dates set to clash with the 2nd season of SA20, which will run from January 10th to February 10th, a top South African official remains confident of organising both events successfully.
Oman and UAE were also contenders to host the tournament, but South Africa was finalised due to better infrastructure.
SLC Chief Shammi Silva confirmed that the national team will partake in the event and stated:
"I have requested the ICC board to allow the game to continue and the members have upheld our request."
India are the defending champions, having beaten England in the 2022 edition in the West Indies.