The 14th edition of the Asia Cup will begin on September 15, 2018, in the United Arab Emirates and it will be the third time the UAE will host the even after the inaugural edition in 1984 and 1995. The defending champions are India, who won the first T20 format Asia Cup in 2016.
There are many nitty gritty of the tournament that most fans may not be aware of and we present to you all you need to know about the Asia Cup 2018 edition.
The Asia Cup 2018 will see a lot of hype around it given that India and Pakistan will clash against each other after a year. Last time they clashed was in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2017, when India lost to Pakistan in the finals.
This time, however, both are clubbed in the same group and are expected to move into the next round given that the third team in their group is Hong Kong. This means that the arch-rivals will meet two times atleast in the tournament, with a possible third clash in the finals.
All the matches in the tournament, even HK’s have been granted official ODI status by the ICC.
The two groups are as follows:
Group A: Hong Kong, India, Pakistan
Group B: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
The format of the tournament will be:
There will be a total of 12 matches played across the two venues in UAE, culminating in the final at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 28.
The six teams are divided into two groups, A and B, with the three teams from each group playing the others in their group once in the first stage. The top two from each group will then progress to the Super Four, where they will face all other teams once.
The top two teams in the super four stages will clash in the finals.
The matches will be held the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai and Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the tournament will be played from September 15 to September 28, 2018.
Squads of all the six teams are as follows:
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, K Khaleel Ahmed
Afghanistan: Asghar Afghan (c), Mohammad Shahzad, Ihsanullah Janat, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Samiullah Shenwari, Munir Ahmad, Sayed Shirzad, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Yamin Ahmadzai
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider Rony, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque
Hong Kong: Anshuman Rath (c), Aizaz Khan, Babar Hayat, Cameron McAulsan, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Arshad Mohammad, Kinchit Shah, Nadeem Ahmed, Nizakat Khan, Raag Kapur, Scott McKechnie, Tanveer Ahmed, Tanwir Afzal, Waqas Khan, Aftab Hussain
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shan Masood, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Shehan Jayasuriya, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella
The schedule of the tournament is as follows:
15 September - Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka (Dubai)
16 September - Pakistan vs. Hong Kong (Dubai)
17 September - Sri Lanka vs. Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)
18 September - India vs. Hong Kong (Dubai)
19 September - India vs. Pakistan (Dubai)
20 September - Bangladesh vs. Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)
21 September - Group A Winner vs. Group B Runner-up (Dubai)
21 September - Group B Winner vs. Group A Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
23 September - Group A Winner vs. Group A Runner-up (Dubai)
23 September - Group B Winner vs. Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
25 September - Group A Winner vs. Group B Winner (Dubai)
26 September - Group A Runner-up vs. Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
28 September - Asia Cup 2018 Final (Dubai)