As the Asia Cup 2018 schedule was announced, one of the biggest issues that came across was that India were slated to play Pakistan on September 19, without any rest day. It means that the Men in Blue will be locked in 50-over ODI action for two consecutive games in a gruelling competition.
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan do not get to play each other in a bilateral series but they will lock horns this September in the much-awaited Asia Cup 2018 that takes place in Dubai. The arch-rivals are slated to play each other on September 19, in what will be the second ODI in two days for the Men in Blue and fatigue could play a big role in deciding the fate of the match.
The Asia Cup 2018 schedule came out on Tuesday as ICC released the calendar for the tournament, starting September 15 and concluding on September 28. Fellow Asian sides Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will lock horns in the opening encounter of the tournament.
One qualifying spot has been left empty in the 6-team tournament which features India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan as the confirmed participants. One of the teams from UAE, Singapore, Oman, Nepal, Malaysia and Hong Kong will fill the 6th spot.
The only thing here that might give the Men in Blue some reprieve from a scheduling headache is that they will be up against the 6th team on September 18, which will enter the tournament after the results of the qualifiers.
India and Pakistan last faced each other in the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, where Sarfraz Ahmed’s men registered a comprehensive win to wrest the trophy from the defending champions.
As for the Asia Cup, it was BCCI’s turn to host the biennial tournament this time but after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) raised questions over playing in India because of the poor political relations between the two nations. The event was later moved to UAE.