After Indian Premier League, it’s Asia Cup June 23 to July 6
CRICKET: After the hazzle and dazzle of a successful Indian
Premier League T20 tournament, the focus will be back more on
competitive cricket between nations when the 9th edition of the Asia Cup
limited overs cricket tournament will be unfolded from June 23 to July 6
A total number of 13 matches will be played and 10 of them will be
staged in Karachi while the rest will be played at Lahore. All matches
will be played under lights and the second phase of the tourney will be
staged at the National stadium in Karachi.
India is in the lead with four wins in the tournament, with Sri Lanka
one less than the Indians. Surprisingly, Pakistan has won the
competition only once. It took Pakistan 16 years to register their first
win when they beat arch rivals India by 44 runs in year 2000, The
tournament started in 1984. Pakistan will also have the honour of
hosting the ICC Champions Trophy in September 2008.
This prestigious tournament which is considered as an important
fixture in the Asian region, has been at times, a bit hard to get off
the ground due to various factors, specially because it has been
sandwitched in between the participating countries international
commitments or the tournament at times coincided amidst a strenuous Test
and ODI tour with a heavy player burn out. However, all teams have
confirmed their availability for this years tournament.
The six participating teams: Host Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong have been divided into
two groups and the first two teams of the groups will meet each other in
the second phase of the tournament. India and Pakistan along with
HongKong are in group ‘B’ while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and UAE will
battle-it-out in group ‘B’ for the first two places.
The tournament was inaugurated in 1984 in the popular desert venue
Sharjah Stadium as the Rothman’s Asia Cup. India won the ‘Cup’ defeating
Sri Lanka by 54 runs.
In 1986, the competition was held in Sri Lanka without the
participation of India. Sri Lanka led by Duleep Mendis beat Pakistan led
by Imran Khan in the final. The Lankans are the holders of the Asia Cup
by virtue of beating India by 25 runs when the tournament was last held
in Colombo in 2004.
The winners of the eight Asia Cup competition held upto date.
1984: India beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in Sharjah; 1986: Sri Lanka
beat Pakistan by 5 wickets in Sri Lanka; 1988: India beat Sri Lanka in
Bangladesh; 1990-91: India beat Sri Lanka in India, 1993: Tournament not
held; 1995: India beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in Sharjah; 1997: Sri
Lanka beat India by 8 wickets at home; 2000: Pakistan beat India by 39
runs in Bangladesh; 2004: Sri Lanka beat India by 25 runs in Colombo.
The match schedule
24 June: Bangladesh vs United Arab Emirates at Gaddafi Stadium,
Lahore, Pakistan vs HongKong at Karachi.
25 June: Bangladesh Vs Sri Lanka at Lahore, Hong kong vs India at
National Stadium Karachi.
26 June: Sri Lanka vs UAE at Lahore, India vs Pakistan at Karachi. 28
June: A2 vs B2 at Karachi. 29 June: A1 vs B1 at Karachi. 30 June: A1 vs
B2 at Karachi. 2 July: B1 vs B2 at Karachi. 3 July: A1 vs B2 at Karachi:
4 July: A2 vs B1 at Karachi. 6 July: Final Karachi.