HH Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan with Asia Cup Trophy-1660932962752
Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan with the Asia Cup trophy accompanied by representatives from Sri Lanka Cricket, Emirates Cricket and Asian Cricket Council. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi; Asia Cup 2022 is just a week away from the umpires calling play and the cricket fever is spreading fast with the continental showpiece growing in stature from its humble journey that began in Sharjah in 1984.

The Asia Cup 2022 trophy was unveiled in Abu Dhabi on Friday by Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman Emirates Cricket Board.

Also present at the unveiling were Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary, Emirates Cricket Board, Shammi Silva President of Sri Lanka Cricket, Ashley de Silva, CEO Sri Lanka Cricket, Subhan Ahmed, Advisor, Emirates Cricket Board, Thusith Perera, GM Finance & Operations, Asian Cricket Council, and Prabhakaran Thanraj, Head of Events and Commercial, Asian Cricket Council.

The Asian Cricket Council’s marquee event returns after a four-year interval with the 2022 edition of the men’s Asia Cup being played in the T20 format in Dubai and Sharjah. The Dubai International Cricket Stadium will host nine games including the final, while Sharjah Cricket Stadium will host four games, starting from August 27 to September 11.

Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which played host to the inaugural Asia Cup in 1984, is ready to welcome this global tournament once again when it hosts four key matches in a few weeks.

Sharjah Cricket Stadium
The Sharjah Cricket Stadium has hosted a record number of matches and it was at the same venue that the first Asia Cup was played in 1984. Abdulrahman Bukhatir (left) was instrumental in Sharjah hosting the matches and now Khalaf Bukhatir (right) is carrying the legacy forward. Image Credit: Supplied

As a founding member of the Asian Cricket Council, Abdulrahman Bukhatir was instrumental in the initial success of this tournament and believes this was the first major step in the future ascendancy of Asian teams in the cricketing hierarchy, not to mention Sharjah’s reputation as a world-class cricketing venue and inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records for hosting the maximum One-Day Internationals at a venue (245 ODI’s).

Life has come a full circle

“Come August 27, the 15th Asia Cup will take place in Sharjah and Dubai. It has been a very fruitful 40 years and I am delighted we are hosts again. The initiative begun in 1984 has paid off and I see it as one of my most satisfying achievements,” said Abdulrahman Bukhatir, the founder of Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

After a gap of 11 years, the fifth Asia Cup was also hosted for the second time in Sharjah. The tournament took place from April 5 to 14 in 1995. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh took part in this edition of the tournament with India winning its third straight, and fourth overall Asia Cup.

“Life has really come full circle and we are so excited to be hosting the Asia Cup once again in 2022. Our stadium is globally renowned for breaking records, having the best fans and the most exciting finishes and I imagine this tournament will be no different. The stadium upgrades are complete and so is our team, so see you soon in Sharjah for another epic tournament,” added Khalaf Bukhatir, CEO of Sharjah Cricket Stadium.