This September sees cricket’s Asia Cup romp into the UAE, with the region’s best international teams vying for the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 trophy across 13 matches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The undoubted main draw of the tournament will be the prospect of at least one India v Pakistan match with the Asia Cup and ICC tournaments the only place where the two fierce rivals meet each other.
Due to strained political relations between the two neighbors, bilateral series have been shelved since 2008 and when the two nations meet now the entire cricketing world comes to a halt.
This year’s Asia Cup is no different and when the sides meet in Group A, it will be the first meeting since Pakistan downed India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in June of 2017.
Although all eyes will be on the two rival heavyweights, they are not the only teams out to make an impact in what will be a hotly contested tournament.
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the winner of August’s qualifying event in Malaysia will make up the remaining four teams vying for the trophy.
And with the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup right around the corner in 2019 (also live & exclusive on OSN Sports Cricket HD), all of them will be hoping to lay down a continental marker ahead of next year’s World Cup in the UK.
Here, we look at the entire Asia Cup 2018 schedule, with each and every match live & exclusive on OSN Sports Cricket HD.
Split across two groups of three each team will play the other two teams in their group once before the top-two teams advance to the Super 4s.
Group A hosts India, Pakistan and the qualifier while over in Group B are Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
The tournament will kick-off with Bangladesh v Sri Lanka on September 15 at Dubai International Stadium from 15:30 UAE (the start time of every match), with the Group Stage finishing on September 20 in Abu Dhabi with Bangladesh v Afghanistan, a match sure to draw a huge audience.
In among all of that, however, lies The Big One. The only guaranteed India v Pakistan match (but potentially first of three…) takes place on Wednesday, September 19 in Dubai. And a word for the wise, if you’re not going to that game then you might want to avoid the Sports City stadium as the traffic and footfall will be enormous.
Here is the full schedule of the group stage…
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
Group B – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka – Dubai
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Group A – Pakistan v Qualifier – Dubai
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
Group B – Sri Lanka v Afghanistan – Abu Dhabi
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Group A – India v Qualifier – Dubai
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Group A – India v Pakistan – Dubai
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Group B – Bangladesh v Afghanistan – Abu Dhabi
Once in the Super 4s, each of the four teams will play each other once, again in a league format, to determine the 2018 Asia Cup finalists.
If Pakistan and India advance from Group A, they will meet here once again with the aim of reaching the final against each other or another of the teams in the Super 4.
The final will be made up of the top-two teams at the completion of the Super 4 stage.
Here’s how the Super 4 matches are scheduled…
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
Group A Winner vs Group B Runner-Up – Dubai
Group B Winner vs Group A Runner-Up – Abu Dhabi
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
Group A Winner vs Group A Runner-Up – Dubai
Group B Winner vs Group B Runner-Up – Abu Dhabi
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Group A Winner vs Group B Winner – Dubai
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Group A Runner-Up vs Group B Runner-Up – Abu Dhabi
Asia Cup final
Taking place on September 28 at Dubai International Stadium, the Asia Cup 2018 final will surely be a thrilling encounter played out in front of a packed house.
And, who knows, it may even feature the world’s greatest cricketing rivals, something that could make it the most watched match in the sport’s history.
We have a feeling four other teams will have something to say about that though…
Friday, September 28
Final – Dubai.
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