ICC shifts Men’s Under 19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa

The ICC Board on Tuesday decided to shift the 2024 men’s Under-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa. The move, a unanimous decision by the board, was taken as a consequence of the ICC recently provisionally suspending the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) due to extensive government interference in the board’s administration.

The development will have no immediate implication on the daily running of cricket. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the ICC Board agreed that cricket at all levels, including any bilateral and domestic series and tournaments, will not be disrupted by the suspension. As for the ICC annual funding, that would be controlled until the suspension is lifted.

Shammi Silva, SLC president, had recently warned that the biennial tournament, scheduled in January 2024 was in danger of being moved out of the country unless the ICC was satisfied that Sri Lanla government was not meddling in board’s working, which goes against the ICC constitution. The SLC and the country’s sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe have been in conflict over the past year, with Ranasinghe making accusations of corruption and mismanagement in the cricket board, while Silva and SLC accuse him of meddling with cricket.

Silva also notified the ICC in November 2022 of government interference which forced the ICC Board to ask its deputy chairman Imran Khawaja to travel to Sri Lanka to establish the facts.

South Africa has been a favourite for hosting U-19 World Cup events recently. The country hosted the inaugural edition of the Women’s U-19 World Cup in 2023 and the men’s U-19 World Cup in 2020 too.

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