The upcoming Asia Cup in 2023 is set to be held from August 31 to September 17, jointly hosted by Sri Lanka and Pakistan. This edition of the tournament will introduce a hybrid model, marking the first time such a format is implemented in the history of the championship.
Asia Cup 2023: ACC releases Asia Cup schedule held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka; BCB expresses dismay over tight schedule
The Asia Cup is set to commence in Multan, with the opening match between Pakistan and Nepal scheduled for August 30. The first-round fixture between Pakistan and India will take place in Kandy on September 2, and if both teams progress to the Super 4s, the game will be held in Colombo.
Lahore will also serve as a venue for the matches in Pakistan. The tournament’s final is slated for September 17 in Colombo, with a reserve day available if needed. The initial schedule drafted by the PCB underwent several changes, mainly due to the hybrid model approved by the ACC, allowing the six-nation tournament to be played in both Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
According to the original plan, Pakistan was supposed to host four matches in a single city. However, Multan was later added as the second venue after the new PCB administration, led by chairman Zaka Ashraf, assumed office earlier this month.
A total of 13 matches will be contested in the tournament, spread across four venues. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super 4s, where the leading two teams will compete in the final.
The Asia Cup in this edition will be played in the 50-overs format, making it a vital and crucial preparation for five of the six participating teams ahead of the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. The tournament will serve as an opportunity for these teams to fine-tune their skills and strategies as they gear up for the prestigious World Cup event.
Irrespective of their performance in the first round, Pakistan will retain the A1 position, and India will be A2, while Sri Lanka will hold B1, and Bangladesh B2. If Nepal and Afghanistan qualify for the Super 4s, they will take the slot of the team that didn’t make it to the next stage.
On Thursday, the Bangladesh Cricket Board acknowledged that the extensive travelling involved in the upcoming Asia Cup will have an impact on the teams. After their first Group B match against Sri Lanka on August 31, they will move to Pakistan to play their second group match against Afghanistan on September 3.
If they qualify for the Super Four stage, they will then travel back to Sri Lanka to play the remaining two Super Four matches. If they manage to make it to the final, that match will also be played in Sri Lanka. The frequent travelling will undoubtedly present a challenge for the team.