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India Opens Asia Cup Campaign Against Pakistan

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India Opens Asia Cup Campaign Against Pakistan

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The much-awaited Asia Cup 2023 is all set to witness some intense clashes as India open its Asia Cup campaign against Pakistan. These two heavyweight teams are scheduled to face each other on September 2 and 10, with the possibility of another showdown in the final on September 17, depending on certain conditions.

In their group stage, both India and Pakistan are joined by the team of Nepal, which is considered a lighter opponent. This setup makes it highly likely for the Super 4 clash between India and Pakistan on September 10. Before this crucial match, Rohit Sharma-led India will kick-start their Asia Cup campaign against Babar Azam’s Pakistan on September 2. If they continue their strong performance, a third encounter in the final is very much on the cards.

The matches of great significance will take place at the designated venues of Kandy and Colombo in Sri Lanka. It was revealed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the host of the six-team championship, that the event will now have four venues instead of the initially planned three. India’s match days are September 4 (against Nepal, in the group stage), September 12 (against Sri Lanka/Afghanistan, in the Super 4 stage), and September 15 (against Bangladesh/Afghanistan, in the Super 4 stage).

Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium will be the second hosting venue in Sri Lanka. The tournament will commence in Multan on August 30 with a match between Pakistan and Nepal, and the remaining three matches in Pakistan will be hosted in Lahore, including a second-round Super 4 match. Overall, Sri Lanka will host a total of nine games.


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A notable feature of the schedule, as revealed by Asian Cricket Council president Jay Shah, is that the tournament will not follow a caravan model, where teams would travel back and forth between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Instead, the ACC will arrange both charter and commercial flights to meet the logistical requirements of the teams.

One interesting aspect is the absence of semifinal matches. This means that India’s other crucial matches will be against Sri Lanka on September 12 and against Bangladesh on September 15, both in the Super 4 stage. However, there is a possibility that one of these matches could be against Afghanistan if they manage to outperform Sri Lanka or Bangladesh and qualify for the Super 4 round. As mentioned earlier, India’s group-stage game against Nepal is scheduled for September 4 in Kandy.

The Sri Lanka leg of the championship will open on August 31 in Kandy with a match between the home team and Bangladesh. Afghanistan will launch their campaign against Bangladesh in Lahore on September 3, and the hosts Pakistan will play two games at home, with one of them potentially being a Super 4 clash against Bangladesh or Afghanistan.

Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary and the president of the Asian Cricket Council, expressed his excitement about the upcoming tournament and extended warm regards and wishes to all the participating teams.

Zaka Ashraf, the chair of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), added that the schedule announcement provides them absolute clarity on planning and delivering the tournament to ensure an enjoyable experience for both the participants and the fans. He also mentioned that hosting the ACC Asia Cup after 15 years is a significant moment for Pakistan, and they look forward to making it a memorable event leading up to the ICC Champions Trophy, which Pakistan will host in February 2025.


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