India will not travel to Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India's secretary Jay Shah suggesting it will have to be moved to a different host nation.

The tournament, which was last held in the nation in 2008, was awarded to Pakistan following a decision to move the 2022 edition to Sri Lanka.

Though the latter was ultimately moved to the United Arab Emirates owing to an ongoing political and social unrest in Sri Lanka, plans had still appeared set for the 2023 edition to proceed as planned in Pakistan.

But now Shah, who is also the incumbent president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), says the tournament will be moved owing to India's refusal to travel.

"The Asia Cup 2023 will be held at a neutral venue," he told media after the BCCI's AGM. "I am saying this as ACC President.

"We [India] can't go there [to Pakistan], they can't come here. In the past also, Asia Cup has been played at a neutral venue."

The statement is likely to raise eyebrows, given the ACC have not officially discussed the matter, let alone made a decision on the tournament.

India have not played in Pakistan since the 2008 Asia Cup.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have not visited India since 2016 amid strained political relations between the countries.

The pair will meet in the T20 Men's World Cup in Melbourne on October 23.

A fine batting effort from Bhanuka Rajapaksa and crucial contributions with bat and ball from Wanindu Hasaranga saw Sri Lanka win the Asia Cup as they beat Pakistan by 23 runs in Sunday's final in Dubai.

Sri Lanka had beaten Pakistan by five wickets in the Super Four on Friday to top the table, but nerves might have been jangling after Pakistan won the toss ahead of the title decider.

Prior to this meeting between two first-time 20-over finalists, 17 of the previous 20 T20I winners in Dubai had been the sides batting second.

And things did not start well for Sri Lanka either, with Kusal Mendis out to his first ball in one of five wickets inside nine overs.

However, after Dhananjaya de Silva had set the table with 28 from 21 balls, Rajapaksa led the recovery with the bat as he hit 71 from 45.

Hasaranga also ably supported with 36 from 21 as Sri Lanka posted a target of 171 that would prove beyond Pakistan.

Sri Lanka's start with the ball was similarly sloppy, with Dilshan Madushanka conceding nine runs before he had bowled a legal ball, but Pramod Madushan turned the tide by taking the wickets of Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman from consecutive balls.

Pakistan, having scored just 37 runs in the powerplay, improved courtesy of a partnership of 71 between Mohammad Rizwan (55) and Iftikhar Ahmed (32) before Madushan (4-34) struck again.

Then it was Hasaranga's turn in a dominant 17th over that had three wickets – including Rizwan's – to set up a straightforward finish that saw Pakistan all out for 147.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Virat Kohli impressed on either side of the ball as India ended their poor Asia Cup campaign with a resounding 101-run win over Afghanistan on Thursday.

India's thrilling six-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Tuesday left their Super Four qualification hopes in ruins, but they took out any frustrations on their hapless opponents to end a dire title defence on a positive note in Dubai.

Skipper KL Rahul (62) and the outstanding Kohli, who required just 61 balls to bring up his mammoth haul of 122, led India to a scintillating start after they were put in to bat.

Afghanistan claimed the wickets of Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav (six) in quick succession in the 12th over, but were unable to build on those dismissals as India raced to a strong target of 212.

But Afghanistan's struggles with the ball were nothing compared to what was to follow with the bat; Kumar removed opening duo Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz for ducks within the first over, and added three more wickets before the end of the sixth.

Deepak Hooda, Arshdeep Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin then got in on the act with a wicket apiece as Afghanistan were limited to just 111 runs at the end of a chastening outing.

Kohli scales new heights

Kohli's unbeaten 122 is the highest score managed by an Indian player in men's T20 internationals, overtaking Rohit Sharma's 118 against Sri Lanka in December 2017.

While Kohli will be disappointed with India's failure to reach the Asia Cup final, he will no doubt be relieved at ending a long wait for a 71st century in international cricket; he last did so 1,020 days ago, against Bangladesh in November 2019.

Kumar on fire as Afghanistan collapse

India had a star at either end of the crease on Thursday, with Kumar bringing up a remarkable five-wicket haul to continue his excellent form.

Kumar has now taken 31 wickets in T20Is in 2022, surpassing India's previous record across a calendar year (Jasprit Bumrah's 28 in 2016).

India's Asia Cup defence is in ruins after a thrilling six-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Tuesday left the reigning champions needing a miracle to reach the final.

Defeat to Pakistan last time out left India essentially requiring a victory here, and they fell short as Sri Lanka ultimately held their nerve.

While Rohit Sharma top-scored with 72, India rarely looked in control, with Suryakumar Yadav (34) the only other to go over 17 runs.

With the impressive Dilshan Madushanka (3-24) helping to reduce India to 173-8, Sri Lanka will have been confident going into bat and an opening stand of 97 from Pathum Nissanka (52) and Kusal Mendis (57) had victory looking almost certain.

But Yuzvendra Chahal (3-34) sowed the seed of doubt as he took both openers and Charith Asalanka (0), while Ravichandran Ashwin (1-32) claimed the scalp of Danushka Gunathilaka (1).

Sri Lanka's momentum had dissipated, but Dasun Shanaka (33 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25 not out) got them back on track, their two boundaries in each of the 18th and 19th overs proving crucial as they reached 174-4 with a single ball remaining.

Shanaka turns up the heat

Sri Lanka's chase appeared to be petering out – there was a moment when they required a rate of more than 12 runs per over but were averaging just over eight.

Shanaka's haul of 33 may have been outscored by four other players on the day, but his knock came from just 18 balls at a strike rate of 183.3, the highest of anyone to record more than 15 runs, and it was crucial to Sri Lanka claiming victory.

Deadly Dilshan

This was a tremendous bowling display by the 21-year-old, with his dismissal of Virat Kohli for a duck particularly satisfying.

From his four overs with the ball, India hit just one boundary – every other Sri Lankan bowler had at least two against them.

Virat Kohli has revealed MS Dhoni was the only one of his current or former team-mates to reach out to him after he quit India's Test captaincy.

The top-order batsman, widely considered one of the finest cricketers of his generation, gave up the T20I armband last year following the World Cup, and subsequently lost ODI skipper duties to Rohit Sharma in December.

The moves came amid a turndown in his frequently prolific form, with his decision to relinquish the Test captaincy coming as the two-time ICC Men's Player of the Year sought to revive his fortunes.

That has led to a strong personal showing in the 2022 Asia Cup, where Kohli is the second top scorer with 154 runs through three innings.

But speaking after Sunday's loss to Pakistan, he has now revealed that only Dhoni, who retired from the international game in 2020, messaged him after he made the call to step down from the captaincy.

"Let me tell you one thing," Kohli stated. "When I left [the] Test captaincy, I got a message from only one person, with whom I had played previously [and] that was MS Dhoni.

"Many people have my number. On TV, people give lots of suggestions, people have a lot to say. But none of the people who had my number sent me a message.

"That respect [with Dhoni], that connection you have with someone, when it is genuine, it shows like this, because there is no insecurity with either of us.

"Neither does he [Dhoni] need anything from me, nor do I need anything from him. Neither of us suffers from insecurity. I can only say: if I want to say something to someone, I reach out to that person individually if I want to help.

"I mean, if you give the suggestions in front of the world, it has no value for me. If it is for my improvement, you can talk with me one-on-one, (tell me) that I genuinely want you to do well. I live life with a lot of honesty."

India chased 147 to beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup by five wickets, aided by strong innings from Hardik Pandya and the returning Virat Kohli.

After India won the toss and opted to bowl first, Pakistan captain and dangerman Babar Azam was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar within three overs, before fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 43 as Pakistan were bowled out for 147 with one ball of the innings remaining.

Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the Indian bowlers, taking 4-26, while Pandya and Arshdeep Singh took three and two wickets respectively. 

India's chase got off to a woeful start as KL Rahul, making his return from injury, was removed for a golden duck, dragging on from the bowling of Pakistan T20I debutant Naseem Shah. Rahul's dismissal brought in Kohli, returning after a short hiatus from cricket, who made an important 35 before being caught at long-off. 

A 36-run partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Suryakumar Yadav looked to have set India on their way to victory but Shah struck again, dismissing Suryakumar to tee up a tense finish.

But Pandya smashed a brilliant 33 runs off 17 deliveries to win the game for his team, even after Jadeja was bowled in the final over. With India needing six off three balls, Pandya sent a maximum flying into the stands to dramatically seal the victory.

Powerful pace attack

After spinners took all 10 wickets for India in their last T20I, a victory over West Indies, all 10 wickets in this Asia Cup opener were taken by Indian pace bowlers for the first time in a T20I innings as they bowled out Pakistan for 147, a score which they were able to chase down.

Returning Kholi

In Kohli's return to cricket, he became just the second player after Ross Taylor to feature in 100 or more internationals across the three formats. After being dropped by Fakhar Zaman on nought, Kohli looked in decent nick as he scored 35 valuable runs before getting out. 

Ravi Shastri expects Virat Kohli to have a "much calmer mind" when he returns at the Asia Cup and backed the former India captain to silence his critics.

Kohli has been given a break after failing to end his run drought on the tour of England last month, only managing a top score of 20 from six innings.

The ex-skipper has not made an international hundred since he reached three figures in a Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.

Kohli was recalled for the Asia Cup and is set to be back at the crease in a clash with fierce rivals Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Former India captain Shastri thinks the 33-year-old batter can reap the rewards of taking some time off.

Shastri said: "It is not rocket science. Mental fatigue can creep into the best in the world. This down time was not just needed for his body but to reflect.

"He will come back with a much calmer mind. He gets 50 in the first game, mouths will be shut. Public memory is very short and works both ways.

"There is no cricketer fitter than him. People keep saying one innings can make a difference, but with a player like Kohli it makes a massive difference.

"His hunger and passion remains undiminished. He would have learnt from this phase, let me tell you that."

India head coach Rahul Dravid was unable to fly out to Dubai with the squad on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus.

Rahul Dravid was unable to fly to Dubai with the India squad on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus.

Head coach Dravid has mild symptoms and is being supervised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) medical team.

The legendary former India batter will be able to join up with the team once he has tested negative.

India face fierce rivals Pakistan in their first match of the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

They will also take on a qualifier in Group A in a tournament that will be played with a Twenty20 format.

VVS Laxman stepped in to take over as head coach for the ODI series whitewash of Zimbabwe as Dravid was given a rest.

Mohammad Hasnain has replaced the injured Shaheen Shah Afridi in Pakistan's squad for the Asia Cup.

Afridi was ruled out after sustaining a knee ligament injury during the first Test against Sri Lanka last month.

The left-arm paceman's absence has presented Hasnain with an opportunity to join up with the squad for a tournament that starts in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

Hasnain has been playing for the Oval Invincibles in The Hundred, but will cut short that spell to report for international duty.

The 22-year-old quick has feature in 18 Twenty20 Internationals, taking 17 wickets at an average of 30.70.

Pakistan face fierce rivals India in their first Asia Cup match in Dubai on Sunday.

Shaheen Shah Afridi has been ruled out of the Asia Cup and faces a race against time to be fit for Pakistan's T20 World Cup campaign.

The fast bowler sustained a right knee ligament injury during the first Test against Sri Lanka last month and, while remaining part of the squad for the tour of the Netherlands, has not featured.

It was stated before the tour of the Netherlands began that Afridi would play no more than one ODI in the series but Pakistan hoped he would be able to feature in the Asia Cup.

Now, a return has been pushed back and Pakistan now hope he will be fit for the October T20 tri-series in New Zealand ahead of the World Cup.

"I have spoken with Afridi and he is understandably upset with the news, but he is brave young man who has vowed to come back strongly to serve his country and team," Dr Najeebullah Soomro, PCB chief medical officer, said in a statement.

"Although he has made progress during his rehabilitation in Rotterdam, it is now clear he will require more time and is likely to return to competitive cricket in October."

The 22-year-old will stay with the squad in the Netherlands to complete his rehabilitation and the PCB will soon announce a replacement for the Asia Cup, in which Pakistan face India in their opener on August 28.

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are back in the India squad for the Asia Cup, but Jasprit Bumrah misses out due to injury.

Kohli, who has been so short of runs, has not played since the tour of England last month as he was given a rest.

The former captain will return in the Asia Cup, which will be staged from August 27 to September 11 in the United Arab Emirates with a Twenty20 format rather than the ODI for the 15th edition of the tournament.

Rahul has been sidelined by injuries and COVID-19, but will be vice-captain for the four-team competition. 

Paceman Bumrah will play no part after reportedly suffering a back injury, while Harshal Patel unavailable due to a rib injury.

Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar will be on standby.

India face fierce rivals Pakistan and a qualifying team in Group A, with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Group B.

India squad for the Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan.

 

 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.