"We were really looking forward to hosting our Asian neighbours in Sri Lanka for the much-anticipated Asia Cup," SLC president Shammi Silva said.

"While I fully stand by the ACC's decision to shift the Asia Cup to UAE considering the current context and magnitude of the event, Sri Lanka cricket will work closely with the ACC and the Emirates Cricket Board to ensure that we still have an exciting edition of the Asia Cup".

The six-team Asia Cup, last held in 2018 as a 50-over tournament, will be played in the T20 format between 27 August and 11 September.

The UAE, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong will play the qualifying round of matches.

The winner of the qualifiers will join heavyweights Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the main draw.