The much anticipated Asia Cup commences on the 15th of September. While India will start its Asia Cup campaign for this year a little late, on September 18th. The other five teams will start on Saturday and will be reaching soon to Abu Dhabi.
The Asia Cup contest will start off with Bangladesh facing Sri Lanka on Saturday. On the other hand, India might be the last team to arrive at the venue. With few of their players still in England participating in the ongoing Test series, India will play their first match on September 18th. Previously, all the teams were booked at the InterContinental but now those have been canceled for the Indian team. The defending champions will be taking on Hong Kong- the latest addition to contest.
Hong Kong’s matches against Pakistan and India to achieve ODI status
Hong Kong lost their One-Day International status after a poor campaign in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. However, four months later they defeated UAE in the qualifiers to make their way into the Asia Cup. Now, Hong Kong have been allied with India and Pakistan in one group. They’re set to begin their campaign against Pakistan on September 16th. But since Hong Kong have lost their ODI status the matches they play, won’t be considered as ODIs.
However, the BCCI, along with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had placed a request with the ICC. As per which the two matches involving Hong Kong should be officially considered as ODIs. The board has apparently agreed to the terms and entertained the request.
The Indian team to get host privileges
Since they’re the hosts, the Indian players will savor exclusive privileges during the tournament. Earlier, India was supposed to host the tournament. But then Pakistan refused to play in India and the Asia Cricket Council (ACC) had to shift the competition to the UAE.
The Men in Blue’s base has been shifted to Dubai while the other five teams will stay in a different hotel. The Indian players will be accommodated in the Grand Hyatt in Dubai and all their matches will also take place in the same city. The entire contest will be hosted across two grounds- Dubai International Stadium, and the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. India will not be traveling to Abu Dhabi throughout the series. Perhaps, if they reach the semi-finals, it has been agreed upon that the semi-final involving India will be played in Dubai. The final is anyway supposed to be held in Dubai itself, scheduled to be played on September 28.