Asia Cup final
Rubel Hossain of Bangladesh bowls against India in the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 match at Dubai International Cricket stadium. India are in Group A while Bangladesh in Group B.again on Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Hosts Sri Lanka will open the Asia Cup against Afghanistan on August 27 while India will play Pakistan in the second clash in Dubai the following day in the full schedule released by Asian Cricket Council on Tuesday.

The six-team event will be played in Dubai and Sharjah with the final taking place in September 11 in Dubai. The five Test-playing nations, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, will be joined by the lone qualifier from UAE, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong. It is learnt that the qualifiers will be held before the tournament main.

The Asia Cup Twenty20 was initially to be staged in Sri Lanka but the prevailing political conditions in the island nation has forced the Asia Cricket Council to move it to the UAE.

Sri Lanka has witnessed months of food and fuel shortages, blackouts and runaway inflation in the wake of its worst financial crisis on record.

“Considering the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka, the ACC after extensive deliberation has unanimously concluded that it would be appropriate to relocate the tournament from Sri Lanka to UAE,” said an ACC statement.

The six-team Asia Cup, last held in 2018 as a 50-over tournament also in UAE, will now be played in the T20 format with three teams in Group A and B. India, Pakistan and qualifier in Group A, while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Group B. Top two teams will qualify for the round robin Super Four stage.

In the 2018 final, India defeated Bangladesh by three wickets at the Dubai International Stadium in 2018.