Pakistan scheduled to play Asia Cup opener
17 January, 2014
DHAKA: Organisers of cricket's Asia Cup insisted the tournament would go ahead in troubled Bangladesh next month, even if one of the teams pulled out on safety grounds, as they unveiled the schedule Thursday.
Defending champions Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in the opening match of the 50-over tournament on February 25, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced at a press conference in Dhaka.
Bangladesh has been rocked by some of the deadliest political violence in its history in recent weeks, prompting speculation that the World Twenty20, due to be held in the country from March 16 to April 6, may be shifted elsewhere.
ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq told reporters in Dhaka that the teams' participation was subject to security clearance by their respective boards.
"Even if one team does not come, the tournament will go ahead," said Huq. "But I am sure they will all be here."
The International Cricket Council is due to hold a security assessment meeting in Dhaka on January 20 to determine if the World Twenty20 can be hosted there.
The five-nation event – that also features India, debutants Afghanistan and the hosts – will be played in capital Dhaka and its southern suburban town of Fatullah.
According to the Pakistan Cricket Board, the team's participation in the event will be confirmed after the board's security official gives a favourable assessment of the situation.
Feb 25: Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Fatullah
Feb 26: Bangladesh v India, Fatullah
Feb 27: Afghanistan v Pakistan, Fatullah
Feb 28: India v Sri Lanka, Fatullah
Mar 1: Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Fatullah
Mar 2: India v Pakistan, Dhaka
Mar 3: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Dhaka
Mar 4: Bangladesh v Pakistan, Dhaka
Mar 5: Afghanistan v India, Dhaka
Mar 6: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Dhaka
Mar 8: Final, Dhaka