Dubai: The UAE will be ready to host the Asia Cup 2020 cricket tournament in September. Following the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly statement on Friday night from Kolkata that Asia Cup will be held in the UAE with India and Pakistan ready to play each other in a neutral venue, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) will soon commence making arrangements to host this tournament for the second time in succession.
The UAE had staged the 2018 edition with India emerging as the champions beating Bangladesh by three wickets in the final at the Dubai International Stadium.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mubashir Usmani, the General Secretary of the ECB, said: “The official decision on the Asia Cup venue is expected to be made after the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting on March 3. We welcome Ganguly’s statement and so as soon as officially we are informed that UAE will be the venue for this tournament we will begin work and provide all support to make the event a success again. Last edition of the Asia Cup which was held in UAE was a huge success with large turnout for all the matches and so we will keep all venues ready for the event.”
Dubai International Stadium which had hosted the final and most of the matches last year will be ready again. Salman Hanif, the Head of Cricket and Events of Dubai Sports City, said: “Dubai Sports City will once again welcome the Asia Cup. The resounding success of Asia Cup 2018 have paved the way to host another edition of this championship here. Cricket fans in the UAE and from across the world will get an opportunity to watch another global cricket event under the Dubai international stadium’s Ring of Fire floodlight facility.”
Defending champions India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and one qualifier from the two Asian Cricket Council regional tournaments will play in the event. UAE has reached the Asia Cup qualifier after emerging as the champions of the Asian Cricket Council Western Region tournament on Thursday in Oman. They will meet the toppers from the Asian Cricket Council Eastern Region tournament in Malaysia during August.
Speaking to Gulf News, UAE team skipper Ahmad Raza said that all effort will be made to ensure that UAE qualify for the Asia Cup and play in front of the team’s home crowd on home wickets. “It is a great news for cricket lovers in the UAE that they can get to witness amazing cricket, that too in T20 format just before the World Cup. As the host country it will be a big boost for us to try and qualify for the Asia Cup here and play against the big Asian team in font of our home crowd, family and our friends. We have now six months to prepare for the next round of qualifiers. We are hopeful that we will win the qualifiers and play at home against the Asian giants.”