Arch cricketing rivals India and Pakistan will battle each other in the Asia Cup happening from 13th to 28th March in United Arab Emirates(UAE).
India was supposed to host Asia Cup
Since 2012, Bangladesh hosted three consecutive Asia Cup tournaments and this year and India was supposed to be the host for this year’s edition. However, at the Asian Cricket Council Meeting in Kuala Lumpur recently , UAE was decided as the host of this year’s Asia Cup.
UAE is Pakistan’s host country and hosted 2014 IPL
Since 2009, UAE was adopted for Pakistan’s international home matches and in 2014, the country was chosen as host for Indian Premier League due to the Indian Prime Minister elections. Besides, UAE also hosts the Pakistan Super League and had hosted Asia Cup too, back in 1984.
Both India and Pakistan last battled at Champions Trophy
Last year, the rivals faced each other twice during the Champions Trophy in England, where Pakistan defeated India in the Champions Trophy final followed by a group stage match which India won. Before that, the rivals faced each other at the T20 World Cup, where India won in a group stage match.
Asia Cup will be in 50 overs format this year
Previously, the 2016 Asia Cup was held in T20 over format as preparations for the T20 World Cup. Bangladesh had hosted the tournament and ended as runners up after losing to India in the final. Before that, Sri Lanka won the 2014 Asia Cup and Pakistan won the 2012 Asia Cup.
Six teams will participate in the qualifiers
This year, Hong Kong, Nepal, UAE, Singapore, Oman and Malaysia will compete with each other to qualify for the tournament, out of which only one team will qualify. In the previous edition, four teams took part and UAE emerged winners.