The Asia Cup 2018 is a One Day International (ODI) cricket being held at the United Arab Emirates. This is the third time that the game is being held in Arab and this is the 14th edition of the Asia Cup. The member countries taking part in the this Asia Cup are India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong.
Asia Cup History
The Asia Cup was founded in 1983 when the Asian Cricket Council was formed to enhance the goodwill between Asian Countries by playing men’s One Day International and Twenty20 Cricket tournaments. It was played initially in a two-year basis. But after the downsizing of the Asian Cricket Council in 2015, it was decided that from 2016 Asia Cup would be played in a rotation basis between One Day International and Twenty20 International format. India and Sri Lanka are the most successful teams in case of the ODI state of the tournament as they have won the trophy five times each. India is the most successful in Twenty20 International version as they have won the only inaugural match in 2016 which makes India be the most successful team of the tournament as they have won it for 6 times (5 times in ODI and 1 time in T20I).
The ODI Status
The international cricket council has confirmed that it has awarded all the matches in the Asia Cup with ODI status. All the teams except Hong Kong have ODI status and they will play their first round in the Group Stage with India and Pakistan. Apart from Hong Kong, all the other teams will take part in a two-week event and will feature in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will start rolling from 30 May to 14 July 2019 at England and Whales.
To serve as a qualifier in the Asia Cup 2018, a cricket tournament was held in Malaysia from 29 August to 6 September 2018. The final was faced the top two teams at the group stage, and the winner was given the privilege to qualify for the Asia Cup 2018. The United Arab Emirates and Nepal had the fixture on 30 August 2018 in a One Day International Match. The United Arab Emirates topped the group stage who faced Hong Kong in the finals and ultimately Hong Kong won the match by two wickets and qualified for the Asia Cup.
Asia Cup 2018 was initially scheduled to be played in India, but following the political tensions between India and Pakistan, it was shifted the United Arab Emirates.
The format of the Asia Cup tournament was given on 24 July 2018 where there are two groups with three members. The top two teams from each of the group would qualify for the Super Four section of the tournament. Then from this section whoever would be the top two teams, would play against each other in the finals.
The main focus of this tournament is the teams without any doubt, so in this article we would discuss about the teams in details.
India– The team India also known as India National Cricket Team is governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and with the One Day International (ODI), Test and Twenty20 International (T20I) status, it is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). The team would be lead by Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan would be the Vice Captain.
Pakistan– The Pakistan Cricket Team who is a full member of ICC is a full member team as they participates in all the forms of the match starting from Test, ODI and T20I format. This team is administered by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The captain of the team is Sarfraz Ahmed.
Afghanistan– Afghanistan has been playing cricket since 19th Century but it is until recently that the team became famous at an International level. This is the 12th nation who is a full member playing full cricket. The captain of the team is Asghar Afghan.
Bangladesh– Bangladesh is a full member of ICC who plays all the forms of the game including Test, ODI and T20I. The team is governed by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and is nicknamed as The Tigers. The team would be lead by Captain Mashrafe Mortaza and helping him would be the Vice Captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Sri Lanka– The Sri Lanka Nation Cricket Team commonly known as The Lions is a full member of the ICC who plays all the forms of International Cricket. The captain of the team is Angelo Mathews
Hong Kong– The Hong Kong Cricket team has been a member of the International Cricket Council since 1969. This skipper of the team is Anshuman Rath.
As discussed earlier, the teams are divided to a number of three in a group of two. The first Group consist of Hong Kong, India and Pakistan where matches will be played between Pakistan and hon Kong on 16-09-2018, between India and Hong Kon on 18-09-2018 and between India and Pakistan on 19-09-2018. Talking about the other group, it consist of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka where matches was played between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on 15-09-2018 which is won by Bangladesh, the coming up matches are between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka on 17-09-2018 and between Afghanistan and Bangladesh on 20-09-2018. Whoever are the top two teams from each group in this stage will quality for Super Four who would play with each other in combinations and the top two team will face off in the finals.
Like any other Cricketing Event, Asia Cup is also equally followed by the Cricket loving fans across the Globe as the top teams would be battling against each other not only to win the trophy but it would also give a glance about how the respective teams are going to play in the Biggest Tournament of Cricket, that is, World Cup 2019.