All you need to know about Asia Cup 2022: Dates, Venues, Format, History￼
The battle for continental supremacy has started to shape up once again as the Asia Cup is being played after a gap of four years. The last Asia Cup took place in 2018 in the United Arab Emirates and it was a 50-over affair. Now, it has moved into the 20-over format and it is the second edition of the Asia Cup in that format. The first ever T20 Asia Cup took place in 2016 in Bangladesh where India defeated Bangladesh in the final.
The tournament assumes massive significance just ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia starting in October and the subcontinental big guns will use the opportunity to fine-tune their strategies and best combination ahead of the mega event. Pakistan, which has the best win-loss ratio amongst all major teams since 2021, will be the other powerhouse in the competition and their crushing win against their arch-rivals in Dubai last October will add spice to the showpiece encounter of the tournament.
Sri Lanka has lost double the number of matches than they have won, in the same time period, but has the arsenal to cause the odd upset. Meanwhile, Bangladesh hasn’t lived up to their potential and has lost 21 of the 35 matches they have played since 2021, despite possessing a talented bunch of individuals. Afghanistan’s biggest victory of the year was their 3-0 sweep in Zimbabwe in June this year and the firepower in their batting coupled with the presence of high-quality world-class spinners makes them a dangerous team in the competition.
The qualifying rounds are to take place from August 20-24. The tournament will officially begin on August 27 and end on September 11.
The tournament will start with a match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan on August 27. The high-octane clash between India and Pakistan will take place on the following day. The Super-4 phase of the tournament will start on September 3. The final of the event will take place on September 11.
The qualifiers were originally scheduled to be played in Kuala Lumpur in 2020 but were later shifted to Sri Lanka along with the main tournament.
Subsequently, owing to the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, and with the main tournament being moved to the UAE, the qualifiers were also shifted to Muscat in Oman. The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board had admitted to logistical difficulties in hosting multiple nations.
Since UAE is the venue of the tournament, Dubai International Cricket Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium have been named as the two venues that will host the game. Ten out of the thirteen games including the final on September 11 are set to be played in Dubai, with the rest to take place in Sharjah.
Six teams will feature in the Asia Cup 2022 tournament from August 27. However, a qualifying tournament is already underway in Oman, the winner of which will join India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the secondary stage of the tournament.
Singapore, UAE, Kuwait and Hong Kong are competing in the Asia Cup qualifier held at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Muscat, Oman. The winner of the round-robin league stage will proceed to Group A of Asia Cup 2022.
The main tournament will feature six teams divided into two groups. India, Pakistan and the qualifier are in Group A while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan form Group B.
Each team will play within the group once. The top two teams from each group will further play in a Super-4 round, meaning there is a high probability of at least another India—Pakistan game in the second round before the final where the top two would feature.
The Asia Cup, billed as one of the most important tournaments in international cricket, dates back to 1984 when India won the inaugural edition in the UAE, led by Sunil Gavaskar. The round-robin format was used for the series, which also included Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The tournament has since had 14 editions, the most recent of which was held in the United Arab Emirates in 2018. In the final, India defeated Bangladesh by three wickets to successfully defend its title.
With seven titles, India is the most successful team in the tournament’s history (1984, 1988, 1990-91, 1995, 2010, 2016, 2018). Sri Lanka comes in second with five titles, followed by Pakistan, which has won it twice. Sri Lanka is also the only team that has competed in all 14 editions of the Asia Cup.
Bangladesh has hosted the Asia Cup the most times (five). The UAE on the other hand will host the competition for the fourth time. India has only hosted the tournament once, in 1990-91, when it won its third title in Kolkata after defeating Sri Lanka in the final.