Asia Cup 2022 is just a couple of months away. After a four-year hiatus, the tournament will finally make a much-awaited return this year. The continental championship was last played in 2018 in the UAE. The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in India but had to be shifted to the UAE due to political reasons.
This year’s edition will be the 15th edition of the Asia Cup. The tournament is scheduled to be played in UAE. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka but there were speculations of a change of venue due to the economic and political crisis in the island nation.
The upcoming edition of Asia Cup was originally scheduled to be played in 2020 but had to be postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic. It was then rescheduled to take place in 2021 but had to be postponed again.
Defending champions India are the most successful side in the tournament with seven titles (six ODI and one T20). Sri Lanka is the second most successful team, with five titles followed by Pakistan (2). Bangladesh have been runners-up thrice.
The venue for Asia Cup 2022 is UAE instead of Sri Lanka. Pakistan were scheduled to host the tournament after retaining the rights to host the 2022 edition. But in March this year, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced that Sri Lanka would host the tournament in 2022 with Pakistan getting the hosting rights for the 2023 edition.
Interestingly, while confirming the venue on July 21, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly cited rain as the reason behind the change of venue.
“Asia Cup will be in UAE, as it is the only place where there won’t be rains,” Ganguly told reporters after the BCCI’s Apex Council meeting.
The tournament will take place from August 27 to September 11. Asia Cup 2022 will be played in the T20 format, thus giving the teams an opportunity to prepare for this year’s T20I World Cup.
In 2015, the ICC had announced that the format of the Asia Cup would depend on the format of the ICC tournament that takes place after it. Asia Cup was first held in the T20I format in 2016 just before that year’s T20I World Cup. Later in 2018, it was played in the 50-over format.
*The full schedule for the tournament is yet to be announced by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). (The schedule will be updated as soon as it is released).
A total of 6 teams will participate in the upcoming edition of the continental championship. Five Test playing nations from the continent – India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan have earned direct qualification to the tournament while the remaining one team will book its place through a qualifying round.
UAE, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Singapore will fight it out in the qualifiers for a place in the main event. The qualifiers are set to begin from August 20. All the four teams have made it to the last qualifying round after progressing through the regional qualifiers.
UAE and Kuwait had made it to the qualifiers after finishing first and second in the ACC Western region event in 2020 while Singapore and Hong Kong did the same from the eastern region.
(*The squads of all the teams are yet to be announced for the competition and thus we have put the predicted squads here. The squads will be updated as soon as they are announced)
The teams are yet to be divided into groups for Asia Cup 2022. In the last edition too, there were six teams and they were divided into two groups of three teams each. Group A consisted of India, Pakistan and Hong Kong while Group B had Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
As far as the format is concerned, each team played the other in the same group once. The top two teams from each group then qualified qualify for the second stage, called the Super Four. The four teams in that stage played each other once before the top two teams qualified for the final. With six teams participating in the upcoming edition too, one can expect a similar format.
According to media reports from Sri Lanka, the hosts are drawn up with Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It means, India and Pakistan are in the other group along with a qualifying team.