The Dubai International Stadium is geared up to host the much awaited India-Pakistan match of the upcoming Asia Cup. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the schedule of the tournament and the two arch rivals and Asian cricket giants will clash on September 19 at this stadium.
Speaking to Gulf News, Khalid Al Zarouni, the President of the Dubai Sports City (DSC) that owns the Dubai stadium, said: “Our venue is geared up at all levels to offer a great match experience to all the cricket fans here.”
A sellout crowd is expected to watch this match and hence Dubai Stadium officials are right away launching plans for the smooth staging of this match as well as the tournament. The final of the Asia Cup will also be held at this stadium on September 28.
“Dubai Sports City will ensure top-class arrangements for all the matches as per the schedule,” added Al Zarouni, who is also a board member of the Emirates Cricket Board.
Dubai Stadium will be hosting eight matches while Abu Dhabi’s Shaikh Zayed Cricket Stadium will host five matches. This will be the 14th edition of the Asia Cup and the UAE will be staging the tournament for the third time.
Sharjah Cricket Stadium had staged the tournament on both occasions previously, in 1984 and 1995. Incidentally, this tournament started off in Sharjah in 1984 and was called the Rothmans Asia Cup.
It will be after a gap of 12 years that UAE fans will be getting to watch an India-Pakistan one-day match here. The last time the two nations played each other in the UAE was at Abu Dhabi’s Shaikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in 2006. The two-match one-day series for the DLF Cup was held to help the 2005 Kashmir earthquake victims.
This edition of the Asia Cup will commence on September 15 with Bangladesh taking on Sri Lanka at the Dubai Stadium. The next day, Pakistan will feature in a Dubai match against one of the teams that qualify for the tournament. Sri Lanka will play their next match in Abu Dhabi on September 17 against the rising Afghanistan team before defending champions India play two successive matches on September 18 and 19 in Dubai. After playing against the qualifier on September 18, India will meet Pakistan on September 19.
Shaikh Zayed Stadium will stage matches continuously from September 20, when Bangladesh take on Afghanistan. It will then go on to stage the super-four matches along with Dubai on September 21, 23, 25 and 26.
The Cup reverts to its traditional 50-over ODI format this year after opting for a Twenty20 format in 2016, when India emerged champions.
The two groups contain three teams each with Group A comprising India, Pakistan and the qualifier while Group B is made up of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The Asia Cup qualifier will be held in India from August 29 to September 6. The teams taking part are the UAE, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman and Singapore.
September 15: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka (Dubai)
September 16; Pakistan vs Qualifier (Dubai)
September 17: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)
September 18: India vs Qualifier (Dubai)
September 19: India vs Pakistan (Dubai)
September 20: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)
September 21: Group A Winner vs Group B Runner-up (Dubai)
September 21: Group B Winner vs Group A Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
September 23: Group A Winner vs Group A Runner-up (Dubai)
September 23: Group B Winner vs Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
September 25: Group A Winner vs Group B Winner (Dubai)
September 26: Group A Runner-up vs Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
September 28: Asia Cup 2018 Final (Dubai)
By K.R. Nayar
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