The schedule for the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE was released by the ICC on Tuesday with the tournament getting underway on September 15 in Dubai.
The biennial tournament will be a six-team affair with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan as the confirmed teams. The UAE, Oman, Singapore, Nepal, Malaysia and Honk Kong will battle it out among themselves for the remaining spot in the qualifiers.
The 2018 edition will see the tournament revert to a 50-over format after the 2016 competition was a Twenty20 affair. India clinched the 2016 trophy and come into the tournament as the defending champions.
India were originally slated to host the Asia Cup this year but their ongoing political differences with Pakistan has seen the tournament being shifted to the UAE.
It will be the first time India and Pakistan have clashed since the ICC Champions Trophy final in England last year. Bilateral cricketing ties between the two neighbours has been suspended since 2008 with matches between the sides reduced to multi-team tournaments like the World Cup, World Twenty20 and the Asia Cup.
Sept 15 – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka (Dubai)
Sept 16 – Pakistan v Qualifier (Dubai)
Sept 17 – Sri Lanka v Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)
Sept 18 – India v Qualifier (Dubai)
Sept 19 – India v Pakistan (Dubai)
Sept 20 – Bangladesh v Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi) Super Four
Sept 21 – Group A Winner v Group B Runner-up (Dubai)
Sept 21 – Group B Winner v Group A Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
Sept 23 – Group A Winner v Group A Runner-up (Dubai)
Sept 23 – Group B Winner v Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
Sept 25 – Group A Winner v Group B Winner (Dubai)
Sept 26 – Group A Runner-up v Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)
Sept 28 – Final (Dubai)
India‘s four-day warm-up match against Essex has been cut short over concerns about the prolonged hot weather in the UK.
The tourists, who are preparing for their five-Test series against England in August and September, will now play the match in Chelmsford over three days instead.
Essex said the change had come at the request of the Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) “as a result of… the current high temperatures”.
A statement from the club said: “As a result of India’s five Test series against England during August and September, and the current high temperatures, the match will now take place on Wednesday 25 – Friday 27 July.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Tourist Match Rescheduled to a Three-Day Match— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) July 24, 2018
“The game will begin at 11am on each day and played under regular playing conditions; however, a full squad of players will be available for selection over the course of the three days.”
Fans who had bought tickets for play on Saturday will be given a full refund.
India, the top-ranked cricket side in the world, are due to begin their series against England at Edgbaston on August 1.
The match against Essex will be their only warm-up game.
Temperatures are forecast to top 30C (86F) in Chelmsford on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Mumbai-born fast bowler fractured his thumb in the second T20 against Ireland and is facing a race against time to get fit for the Test series. It is expected that Bumrah might not recover in time for the first Test which gets underway at Edgbaston on August 1 but he was part of the Indian Test contingent which departed for England on Monday.
“I always wanted to play Test cricket. I was happy when I finally got to play it in South Africa. The start also went well. I always loved Test cricket and I rate it very highly. I enjoy playing each and every format but for me, Test cricket is at the paramount level because I feel everything is tested at that level,” Bumrah said in a video posted by the Mumbai Indians on Twitter.
"For me, Test cricket is at the paramount level." 🔝 🙌@Jaspritbumrah93 tells us why he rates the longest format of the game so highly.— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) July 24, 2018
Full interview: https://t.co/Hj3AvPKcn6#CricketMeriJaan pic.twitter.com/cvEXqBzUE4
The 24-year-old revealed that he does not limit his preparations for an overseas tour to just cricket.
“You look to enjoy the country, you look to see the place. That is how you get to know about the culture of the place and you eventually start enjoying the country. It then reflects on your performance as well,” the pacer said.
“Whenever I go to a new country, I always plan in advance. Before visiting the country, I have a look at a few videos. What works over there. What the home team does over there. It is very important for long tours to enjoy the country and see the places. So that’s the basic thing that I look to follow,” he added.
India will take on Essex in a four-day warm-up game which begins on Wednesday at the County Ground in Chelmsford prior to taking on the hosts in the first Test.