The Asia Cup 2023 is the 16th edition of the prestigious cricket tournament that features the best teams from the Asian continent. The tournament will be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 31 to September 17, 2023, with a total of 13 matches to be played in a hybrid model. Here are some of the highlights and features of the upcoming event.
The Schedule and Format
The Asia Cup 2023 will kick off with a match between Pakistan and Nepal at the Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan on August 31. The tournament will follow a group stage and final format, with six teams divided into two groups of three teams each. Pakistan, India, and Nepal are in Group A, while Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka are in Group B. Each team will play two matches against the other teams in their group, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the final.
The group stage matches will be split between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with four matches to be played in Pakistan and nine matches to be played in Sri Lanka. The iconic clash between India and Pakistan is scheduled for September 2 in Kandy. The final will be played by the teams that top their respective groups on September 17 in Colombo. The matches will start at either 10:00 AM or 2:00 PM local time, depending on whether they are day or day-night fixtures. The full schedule of the tournament can be found on the official website.
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The Teams and Players
The Asia Cup 2023 will feature six teams, five of which are full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and one of which is an associate member. The five full members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who have qualified automatically based on their ODI status. They will be joined by Nepal, who have qualified by winning the 2023 ACC Men’s Premier Cup, a tournament for the top associate teams in Asia. Nepal will be making their debut in the Asia Cup, having qualified for the first time.
The tournament will showcase some of the best players and talents in Asian cricket, such as Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Lasith Malinga and many more. It will also be an opportunity for some emerging stars and newcomers to make a mark on the regional stage, such as Shubman Gill, Tim David, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Wanindu Hasaranga and others.
The Venues and Conditions
The Asia Cup 2023 will be played across four venues in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, covering different regions and climates of the two countries. The venues are:
- Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
- Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
- Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
- R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
The venues offer a variety of pitches and conditions for the teams to adapt to. Some of them are known for their batting-friendly surfaces and high-scoring games, such as Multan and Colombo. Some of them are expected to assist spinners and slow bowlers more than others, such as Kandy and Lahore. Some of them may pose challenges due to weather factors such as humidity, dew or rain, such as Pallekele and Gaddafi.
The teams will have to plan their strategies and selections according to the venues they play at and the opponents they face. They will also have to cope with the pressure and expectations of playing in front of passionate and vocal fans in both countries.
The Asia Cup 2023 promises to be an exciting and thrilling spectacle for cricket fans across Asia and beyond. It will feature some of the best teams and players competing for regional supremacy in diverse and challenging conditions. It will also be a historic occasion for Pakistan and Sri Lanka to co-host their first Asia Cup after hosting it individually three times before. The countdown has begun for what could be one of the most competitive and entertaining editions of the Men’s ODI Asia Cup.