ACC criticised for immature decision

Kuala Lumpur, August 13:

The ACC Under-17 Asia Cup organising committee has been criticised for calling off the tournament in a hurry, after the haze — the main reason behind the postponement — over the Kuala Lumpur city started clearing gradually. Nepal was in a strong position against Kuwait in the semi-final match on Thursday scoring 128 runs losing two wickets in 28 overs of the 45-over-a-side match, when the ACC called off the tournament after the air pollution crossed hazardous levels from forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia. Kuwait was to chase 168-run target off 28 overs as per the Duckworth-Lewis Method on Friday, after the smoke forced the umpires to postpone the innings. The local newspapers reported the improvement in the situation from Friday. The Kuala Lumpur city had a sunny morning with a clear sky on Saturday — the day scheduled for the final.

“It was sad on our part that the ACC technical committee took such a decision,” said Nepal’s coach Roy Dias. “They should have waited for atleast couple of days before calling off the tournament. I was surprised why they decided to suspend the whole tournament,” he added.

“We played the quarter-final under the same conditions. It was unfortunate that the organisers were not in a mood to wait for two days and called off the tournament,” said assist-ant coach Pradeep Pandey. Nepali team manager Kiran Rana was furious over the decision taken by the ACC. “We were deprived of the title just because of their (ACC) immature decision,” he said. “There were just three matches remaining and the organisers could have shifted the venue to unaffected areas. I requested the organising committee to take back the tournament to Penang, but the organising committee even did not bother to ponder over that,” he complained. The organising committee has said nothing about holding the remaining matches. The Nepali team is returning on Sunday. The Baharain camp — who were in a strong position against Singapore — was also not happy with the decision taken by the ACC.