Asia Cup 2023 will be the 16th Edition of this historic tournament that started in 1984 at the iconic Sharjah International Cricket Stadium. The walls of Gaddafi Stadium are set to echo with the thrilling voices of the fans as this Mega Event returns to Pakistan after 2008. This blog covers an illustration of all critical events taking place during this edition.
Well! Without wasting time, let’s go straight into the topic.
Until now, 15 Asia Cup editions have been hosted by different countries, i.e., Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and UAE. The most prolific team is India, which has won 7 titles while not far behind; Sri Lanka conquered 6.
During all previous editions, Sanath Jayasuriya leads the list of the batters who made the most runs (1120 runs in 24 innings) in Asia Cup history, while his legendary teammate Muthiah Muralidaran is ruling the bowlers list with 30 wickets.
Defending Champions Sri Lanka are in solid momentum as they recently won the qualifying round of the World Cup 2023. Likewise, other Asian giants like Pakistan and India, having much more composed squads, are ready to unleash their authority during the tournament. Underdogs: Afghanistan and Bangladesh are also ready to be highly competitive, knowing they have few world-class players.
Asia Cup 2023 Qualifiers Overview
Earlier this year, ACC conducted the qualifiers for Asia Cup 2023 through a new tournament called ACC Men’s Premier Cup. All participating teams were divided into Group A and Group B. The tournament took place in Nepal.
Here are the details of both groups:
Teams included in Group A were: Oman, Nepal, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Malaysia and Oman had a tough time with Nepal, but the host country dominatingly reached the final. Sandeep Lamichhane was crucial to Nepal’s cause. Teams like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, new to this circuit, learned alot.
The other five teams were placed in Group B: UAE, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Bahrain, and Singapore. The emerging Kuwait side fought hard as they defeated the much-experienced team of Hong Kong. Alas, lady luck wasn’t in their favor as UAE made it to the final of the Premier Cup on a better run rate. Bahrain and Singapore gained a fair amount of experience.
The Final of ACC Premier Cup 2023
Host nation Nepal outclassed matured UAE side as they bowled them out for mere 117 runs. Nepal chased such an easy target in the 30th over, thus winning the final by 7 wickets. Therefore, Nepal joined five other Asian teams for the group stage of Asia Cup 2023. Sandeep Lamichhane was the tournament’s leading wicket-taker (5), while his teammate Kushal Malla topped the batters list with the most runs (108).
Basic Outline of the Asia Cup 2023 Format
The format for Asia Cup 2023 is much similar to the previous edition, i.e., Asia Cup 2022. It includes Group stages, Super 4s, and the ultimate final. Below is a detailed overview of all such encounters.
Six teams are divided into two groups, A and B. The teams’ names are Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal. Group A includes Pakistan, India, and Nepal, while Group B will compete among Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and defending champions Sri Lanka.
The first match will be between Pakistan and Nepal on August 30, 2023. The most awaited clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan is set to take place on September 02, 2023. Group B matches will start on August 31, 2023, in a Sri Lanka and Bangladesh contest. Both these sides will show their skills against the ever-improved Afghanistan side on the 3rd and 5th of September, respectively.
Super 4 matches will start on September 6, 2023. One side from both Group A and B will be eliminated from the tournament, while the other two will qualify for the Super 4 round. This elimination/qualification criteria will be based on points attained and net run-rate (in case of equal points).
Pakistan and India are labelled as A1 and A2 based on their chances for Super 4s qualification. Nepal will replace either of the above sides if one fails to qualify. Sri Lanka is donated by B1, and Bangladesh by B2. Similarly, Afghanistan can take the place of any of their group competing teams if they can’t reach Super 4s.
The Ultimate Final
During the Super 4 phase, teams finishing in the top two positions will be worthy to participate in the Asia Cup 2023 Final. One must expect similar competitiveness to the Asia Cup 2022, as all Super 4s qualifying teams consist of highly talented cricketers.
Summary of the Venues
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will host Asia Cup 2023 in four different venues. Those venues are located in two cities in Pakistan: Lahore and Multan, and two in Sri Lanka: Kandy and Colombo.
The first match of the Asia Cup 2023 will be competed at the green-enriched Multan International Cricket Stadium. This is the only encounter at this venue. Iconic Gaddafi Stadium will host three Asia Cup 2023 matches: two Group B contests and one Super 4s match.
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy is set to entertain fans with three significant clashes: two Group B and one Group A. Four ICC tournament hosting venues, i.e., R. Premadasa, will host most of Asia Cup 2023. There will be five Super 4 encounters and a critical final at this historic venue.
On August 11, 2023, the host board PCB publicised that ticket selling for the Asia Cup 2023 will take place from August 12, 2023, for the Pakistan leg and August 17, 2023, for the Sri Lanka leg. Tickets can be bought via Bookme. All enclosures of Asia Cup 2023 hosting venues (in Sri Lanka and Pakistan) have different prices that can be known on Bookme. So, without any delay, buy the tickets well on time.
All Teams Squad List
Host nation Pakistan, Bangladesh, and emerging associate Nepal have officially announced their 17-men squad. At the same time, we are still waiting for Sri Lanka, India, and Afghanistan to share their squad list before the due date.
Here is the squad list of the teams:
Babar Azam ©, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi.
Shakib Al Hasan ©, Litton Das, Tanjid Hasan Tamim, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Mohammad Naim.
Rohit Paudel ©, Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Bhim Sharki, Kushal Malla, Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulshan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Pratish GC, Mousom Dhakal, Sundeep Jora, Kishore Mahato, Arjun Saud.
Details About Asia Cup 2023 Schedule
The schedule of Asia Cup 2023 was announced on July 19, 2023, by the host board PCB. The below tables cover the following elements: matches, timings, days, and dates:
|Pakistan Vs. Nepal||15:30||August 30||Wednesday||Multan, Pakistan|
|Bangladesh Vs. Sri Lanka||13:00||August 31||Thursday||Kandy, Sri Lanka|
|Pakistan Vs. India||13:00||September 2||Saturday||Kandy, Sri Lanka|
|Bangladesh Vs. Afghanistan||13:30||September 3||Sunday||Kandy, Sri Lanka|
|India Vs. Nepal||13:00||September 4||Monday||Kandy, Sri Lanka|
|Sri Lanka Vs. Afghanistan||15:30||September 5||Tuesday||Lahore, Pakistan|
Super 4 Stage
|A1 Vs. B1||15:30||September 6||Wednesday||Lahore, Pakistan|
|B1 Vs. B2||14:00||September 9||Saturday||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|A1 Vs. A2||14:00||September 10||Sunday||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|A2 Vs. B1||14:00||September 12||Tuesday||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|A1 Vs. B1||14:00||September 14||Thursday||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|A2 Vs. B2||14:00||September 15||Friday||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
Note: A1: 1st in Group A, A2: 2nd in Group A, B1: 1st in Group B, B2: 2nd in Group B
|Super 4 1 Vs. 2||14:00||September 17||Sunday||Colombo, Sri Lanka|