Sri Lanka was due to stage the Asia Cup in June ©Getty Images

Cricket's Asia Cup will not take place in 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis.

The six-team men's tournament was originally scheduled for July last year, before being delayed until June 2021 because of the pandemic.

It is due to be hosted by Sri Lanka - after it was moved from Pakistan due to political tensions with India - but Cricket Sri Lanka's chief executive Ashley de Silva has said it "will not be possible" to play the event in June.

The Asian Cricket Council is yet to make a format announcement, but the tournament - due to be played in the Twenty20 format - is expected to be delayed until 2022, with no obvious space on a crowded calendar this year.

Sri Lanka is closing its borders for at least 10 days tomorrow in response to rising COVID-19 cases, while India is the epicentre of the pandemic and recorded more than 4,500 deaths in a single day for the first time yesterday.

It had been hoped that the event would serve as a useful warm-up for teams ahead of the T20 World Cup, which is due to be held in India in October and November.

India have won the last two Asia Cup titles ©Getty Images
India have won the last two Asia Cup titles ©Getty Images

However, given India's catastrophic COVID-19 infection and death rates, the global tournament could yet be called off or moved to the United Arab Emirates.

India - who have won the last two editions of the Asia Cup - Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and a qualifier were due to contest the event.

The biennial tournament, which alternates between T20 and 50-over cricket, has not been played since 2018.

India are set to tour Sri Lanka in July, and implementing COVID-19 countermeasures for a one-team tour will be considerably easier than for a multi-team tournament.

De Silva's comment was made yesterday, on the same day Shammi Silva was re-elected Cricket Sri Lanka President.