The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka is reported to be planning a bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Sri Lanka has emerged as a potential bidder for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, at a time when attempts to stage the event in Hamilton have stalled.

Per Ceylon Today, the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) - which also organises the country's participation in the Commonwealth Games - is planning a bid for the 2026 Games.

"We are keen and capable of handling the bid process and hosting if Government permits," a "senior NOC official" is quoted as saying.

"We have a rough estimation and we are seeking Government guidance about expenditure, and if we receive the green light we will go ahead with the bid."

Sri Lankan city Hambantota bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but lost to Gold Coast in Australia by 43 votes to 27.

It is unclear whether this potential Sri Lankan bid would focus on Hambantota or another part of the country, potentially its capital Colombo.

Canadian city Hamilton was the clear frontrunner for 2026 and had been working "exclusively" with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on hosting the Games, after being encouraged to pivot its bid from 2030.

However, the Ontario Government has ruled out supporting a bid from Hamilton to host the Commonwealth Games before 2027, leaving the CGF in a bind.

With Adelaide firmly ruled out of the running by the South Australian Government, there are currently no other bids for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Sri Lanka unsuccessfully bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
Sri Lanka unsuccessfully bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

If it comes to fruitian, a Sri Lanka bid therefore would be welcome news for the CGF.

In the Ceylon Today report, the NOCSL official is quoted as praising how multi-sport Games "help a lot to develop a country’s sports and to build a sports loving society in the country, which cannot be financially valued".

The CGF has previously claimed the 2026 Games would represent a stimulus package for the host following the coronavirus-related economic slowdown.

When Hambantota was bidding for the 2018 Games back in 2011, Sri Lanka's record on human rights - in particular in relation to the 25-year civil war which came to an end in 2009 - came under scrutiny.

Issues with the New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games in India were also blamed by some within the bid for hampering Hambantota's hopes of staging the 2018 edition of the event.

Among the biggest international sporting events to have been staged in Sri Lanka are the men's and women's T20 World Cups, which were both held in the nation in 2012.

Birmingham in England is putting on the 2022 Games, after Durban in South Africa was stripped of hosting rights.