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2023 Asia Cup: Important Dates and Facts

Asia Cup 2023

The 2023 edition of the Asia Cup will be held for the 16th time in Pakistan from September 2 to 17 this year. Matches will be played as ODI with 6 teams in the running for the trophy. The tournament will feature the five full members of the Asian Cricket Council – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, with Nepal joining them as the final team. The Nepalese cricket team qualified for the final spot after winning the ACC Men’s Premier Cup.

There’s still a long way to go before the tournament begins, giving fans a lot of time to consider their cricket bets or rethink their position on favorites. With all the details already released to the public, let’s see the most important facts and dates about the 2023 Asia Cup.

When Does it Begin?

The 2023 Asia Cup will be held from September 2 to September 17. This year, Pakistan serves as the host. The schedule has yet to be officially announced by the ACC, but considering the quality of the teams involved, there will definitely be some great matches.

Bookies that accept cricket bets are eagerly awaiting the schedule. While September is still far off, they will have early lines on the favorites or underdogs and odds on the matches too. Predictions will go wild as to which team reaches the final. A total of 13 matches will be played, with hundreds of markets available before it even begins. Once the tournament is underway, keep a close eye on live betting markets and check how the outright odds change.

September is the perfect time for cricket. It follows heated summer action such as The Ashes, and comes at a chillier time which is far superior for watching cricket on the field. While we don’t know the schedule, we do know the groups, and there will be plenty of great action to enjoy. Expect to see plenty of Bollywood celebrities taking center stage at the matches as well as Pakistan’s elite. It will be a blast.

Format and Matches

As mentioned earlier, a total of six teams will participate at the 2023 Asia Cup.

  • Group A will feature India, Pakistan, and Nepal
  • Group B will put Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh against each other

The tournament will have 13 matches, including 6 league matches where all group teams play against each other. The top two teams from each group will proceed to six Super 4 matches, with the winners playing in the grand final.

Right from the get go, we have an initial match between favorites India and Pakistan. The group match—hopefully the tournament’s opener—will be iconic for many reasons. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the beginning of the tournament. Initially, India didn’t want to travel to Pakistan, and it only took the current hosts threatening to boycott the 2023 World Cup in India for the team to change its mind.

Nevertheless, the draw wanted the two fierce rivals to play against each other in what could be a tournament highlight. Both are vying for the trophy – India to solidify its status as the best Asia Cup nation, while Pakistan to get a hat-trick.

India and Pakistan the Biggest Favorites

So far, India has won the tournament seven times, the last time in 2018. After the team went through some challenges in the past few years, it has emerged as a major favorite with new blood fueling it. Seven trophies out of fourteen appearances means that India has won half of the tournaments it has been part of, with only one team coming close to that record.

It’s not Pakistan or any other dominant cricket force, but Sri Lanka. While Sri Lanka has not been as successful on the global stage, it has won the Asia Cup a record six times. It won the last edition in 2022 by beating Pakistan in the grand final by 23 runs. With that trophy, Sri Lanka came just one title shy off India’s record, and it will certainly be trying to get it this year.

Of course, competition will be tough. As the hosts, Pakistan will want to have a say in that. While it has been drawn in a tough group with India, Pakistan will be looking to add a third Asia Cup to its collection. The last time it won was over 10 years ago in 2012, so the fans and experts believe Pakistan’s time may come this year.

The team is definitely up for the challenge. Playing in front of its fans will certainly be a big morale boost, and beating India in the group stage—or later matches—will give Pakistan the fuel it needs. The hat-trick of trophies may never be closer than this time.

Cricket Form

Unlike the last tournament which was in T20I format, this one will revert back to the traditional One Day Cricket form. Most of the Asia Cups so far were ODI, with a few exceptions in 2016 and 2018, won by India and Sri Lanka. The reversal has nothing to do with a lack of success of the T20I forms. The council simply decided to go back with the original format which most cricket fans prefer.

It’s a slower format for sure, but much more exciting for fans on the field.

2022 Edition

Sri Lanka was the sensational winner of the 2022 Asia Cup, bringing the first trophy home after nearly a decade. Previously, the team won the trophy in 2014. It was the sixth in its history, coming one shy off India’s record. Bhanuka Rajapaksa was Man of the Match in the final, while Wanindu Hasaranga was named Player of the Series.

Pakistan’s start left a lot to be desired, but it managed to get to the final. India was the hot favorite, winning against Pakistan in the opening stages, but losing important matches in the Super 4. Sri Lanka use everything to its advantage, playing a near perfect tournament where they only lost to Afghanistan.

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