The decision to move the Asia Cup out of India, due to improbability of Pakistan players getting Indian visas, and to moving it to the UAE has given the Emirates Cricket Board an opportunity to host one of the biggest tournaments in its recent history.
Emirates Cricket Board chairman Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan said: “This is a very important tournament in the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) calendar, and one we are extremely pleased to secure, especially during the auspicious ‘Year of Zayed’. We extend our sincere thanks to the ACC, Asia Cup hosts BCCI, and all Member Unions for their trust and unanimous support.”
With the highly awaited India–Pakistan clash on the anvil, the race is on between the Dubai International Stadium and the Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi to get their hands on the mouthwatering fixture.
The stadium in Abu Dhabi is currently undergoing a facelift and expansion which will see it capacity increase to around 25,000 from 20,000.
Describing the Indo-Pak clash as the world’s biggest cricket event, Abu Dhabi Cricket acting chief Matt Boucher expressed excitement at the prospect of hosting the tournament.
“We have worked hard over the past three months to restructure some of the stadium,” he was quoted as saying by the National.
“We are targeting a 25,000 capacity so that we are able to host the world’s biggest cricket event. We will be competitive.
“We are waiting on instructions from the Asian Cricket Council and BCCI. We have reserved the venues, and we will get ready for the next steps.
“We as the UAE are thrilled to be chosen, and very pleased Abu Dhabi is a venue. We are looking forward to working with the ACC and hosting India, which is obviously very rare in this part of the world. It is hugely exciting.”
The schedule for the tournament is yet to be released by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The Asia Cup is slated to take place in September this year.
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