How Asia Cup gave a new lease of life to limited overs cricket tournament

How Asia Cup gave a new lease of life to limited overs cricket tournament

Thrill and passion magnified.



by

Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

Published: Fri 14 Sep 2018, 3:42 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Sep 2018, 8:32 AM

Goodwill is the essence of Asia Cup, as it was founded to further goodwill between Asian countries. The concept was to let sports become a reason for connectivity, as a couple of Asian Cricket playing nations had nursed animosity in their respective political spheres. The introduction of UAE as a common and friendly venue for making India and Pakistan play cricket was an instant success. It also primarily addressed security concerns of many states who had reservations in playing on each other's tension-ridden grounds. Last but not the least, the format of Asia Cup, which is One Day International and Twenty20 International cricket tournament, has buoyed the spirit as well as commercial value of the sport worldwide.
Notable facts:
*The 2018 Asia Cup being held in the UAE will also be known as Unimoni Asia Cup, named after a renowned money exchange company, which is prime sponsor of the event.
*The 2018 tournament will be the 14th edition of Asia Cup.
*The UAE shall host the tournament for the third time. The earlier two were played in 1984 and 1995.
*The first Asia Cup was held in 1984 in Sharjah.
*Most successful winning team is India, which has bagged six titles till to-date. (format: 1 T20Is and 5 ODIs)
*India is the defending champion in 2018 tournament. India won all of its matches played in Asia Cup 2016 beating Bangladesh twice, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UAE once.
*Sri Lanka bagged the title five times.
*Pakistan was successful twice in lifting the cup.
*Asia Cup's Council's offices were based in the UAE until 1995.
*India boycotted the 1986 tournament due to a political tug-of-war going on with Sri Lanka. 
*Pakistan walked out of the 1990-91 tournament due to strained relations with India. 
*The 1993 tournament was cancelled as both India and Pakistan refused to play each other, hinting at the lowest ebb in their jaundiced relationship.
*The tournament became a biennial event from 2008.
*The ICC ruled that all games played in the Asia Cup have official ODI status, which was a shot in the arm for the tournament.
*The ICC in 2016 said that matches in the Asia Cup will be played on a rotation basis between One Day International and T20 International format.
*In 2016, the tournament was played in the T20 format. In the same year, 2016 ICC World T20 was held.
*The 2018 tournament: Six teams split into two groups of three.
*The top two teams from each of the groups will then progress to the Super Four section of the tournament.
*Bangladesh will play Sri Lanka in the opening game of the tournament at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
*The ICC says next edition of the World T20 in 2020 would be held in Australia.
- mehkri@khaleejtimes.com


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