Asia Cup 2018 Fixture change: 'Even a mad person would be upset'
02:58 PM, September 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:42 PM, September 20, 2018

Even a mad person would be upset, says Mash on fixture change

What increasingly appears to be favouritism towards cricketing powerhouse India has turned the Asia Cup into a near farce. Even with two group matches left and Group A and Group B champions yet to be decided, on Wednesday morning the Asian Cricket Council has published the fixtures list of the Super Four stage starting on Friday.

That should not have been possible, because the original schedule had Super Four matches set as 'Group A winner vs Group B runners-up', 'Group A runners-up vs Group B winners' and so on. Therefore, unless group champions are determined – as they will be after Wednesday's India vs Pakistan encounter and Thursday's Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Group B match, it is not possible as per the original schedule to name the matches for the Super Four stage.

The four teams have already qualified, but each having beaten the third team in their group – Hong Kong in Group A and Sri Lanka in Group B – it all comes down to the last group matches to determine the standings and the shape of the group matches.

“It is very disappointing,” said Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza during training on Wednesday. Bangladesh and Afghanistan are the most disadvantaged because they will have to play on successive days in heat that exceeds 40 degrees celcius in the daytime.

“Basically what has happened is that we were made the second team in Group B even before we played the last game. It is frustrating,” Mashrafe, normally a very diplomatic speaker, told reporters while taking a much-needed breather during training at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

Even before the tournament had begun, India had expressed a desire to play all their matches in Dubai and not visit Abu Dhabi at all during the tournament. It seems they have gotten their wish, and the fixtures have been set in such a way that while other teams will have to adjust their plans, India will play all their matches in Dubai.

“We came here with a plan. We would play Sri Lanka first and if we won and played well we would be group champions and play the runners-up of Group A,” Mashrafe added. “But this morning we heard that we are already Group B runners-up regardless of whether we win or lose tomorrow. So of course it is disappointing.

“So we'll play – of course it is an international match where we are representing our nation, so of course it's important. But whether you are talking about group stage matches or Super Four matches, there are certain rules within which they operate. We are getting away from the rules, so it's disappointing.”

“Even a mad person would be upset,” said Mashrafe when asked whether this state of affairs has upset the team.

 

The Asia Cup schedule, provided via press release on September 18

Friday

21st Sept 2018

India vs Bangladesh

Super 4

Dubai

1530 hrs

Pakistan vs Afghanistan

Super 4

Abu Dhabi

1530 hrs

Sunday

23rd Sept 2018

India vs Pakistan

Super 4

Dubai

1530 hrs

Afghanistan vs Bangladesh

Super 4

Abu Dhabi

1530 hrs

Tuesday

25th Sept 2018

India vs Afghanistan

Super 4

Dubai

1530 hrs

Wednesday

26th Sept 2018

Pakistan vs Bangladesh

Super 4

Abu Dhabi

1530 hrs

Friday

28th Sept 2018

Final (Super4 1st vs 2nd)

 

Dubai

1530 hrs

 

 

 
 
The schedule that was decided upon before the start of the tournament
 

Group Stage

15 September – Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka (Dubai)

16 September – Pakistan vs Qualifier (Dubai)

17 September – Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)

18 September – India vs Qualifier (Dubai)

19 September – India vs Pakistan (Dubai)

20 September – Bangladesh vs Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)

 

Super Four

21 September – Group A Winner vs Group B Runner-up (Dubai)

21 September – Group B Winner vs Group A Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)

23 September – Group A Winner vs Group A Runner-up (Dubai)

23 September – Group B Winner vs Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)

25 September – Group A Winner vs Group B Winner (Dubai)

26 September – Group A Runner-up vs Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)

 

Final

28 September – Asia Cup 2018 Final (Dubai)


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