Asia Cup 2018: Without a day’s rest, India to face Pakistan in Dubai

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India will face Pakistan in the Asia Cup group stage on September 19. The ICC on Tuesday released the full schedule for the 2018 Asia Cup to be played in the UAE in September, and Virat Kohli and company will have to play back-to-back 50-over matches at the group stage – September 18 against the qualifier followed by the Pakistan game the next day. Both matches will be played in Dubai.

The biennial tournament will be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from September 15-28, with the BCCI hosting it. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) took the decision in this regard during its meeting in Kuala Lumpur in April. It was the BCCI’s turn to host the event this year. But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had raised objection over playing matches in India, citing the Indian cricket board’s refusal to participate in the Asian Emerging Nations Cup in Pakistan. More importantly, as a BCCI source had put it then, “the Indian Government could have objected to Pakistan playing (Asia Cup) matches in India”.

The tournament will be played in a 50-over format this term, with an eye on the next year’s World Cup. The five ICC Full-Member Asian teams — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – will be joined by the winner of the Asia Cup qualifier. UAE, Singapore, Oman, Nepal, Malaysia and Hong Kong are fighting for the spot.

Monsoon will affect trials: MCA

Mumbai: The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has written to the Indian cricket board about their concerns over picking the team for the under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy if it is to be held as per the revamped domestic cricket schedule for the 2018-19 season. Based on the calendar announced by the BCCI last week, the age-group tournament is set to start in the first week of October. With the monsoons in the western part of the country not expected to end till September, the teams in the West Zone like Mumbai are likely to struggle with conducting their selection trials or tournaments in time.

“We have written a letter to the BCCI explaining our problem if the matches for the under-16 tournament start in the first week of October. It rains in Mumbai till the month of September and at the same time, grounds are not ready to conduct games. How can we select the team without looking at the young boys’ performances? We can’t organise any practice games and as it’s a multi-day tournament, we need time for selection,” MCA jt-secretary Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar said.

Source: The Indian Express

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