Colombo, July 20 : The officials of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will make an inspection tour to Kandy and Colombo — the two venues, where the matches will be played in Sri Lanka during the 2023 Asia Cup.
As part of the preparation work for the tournament, the ACC and PCB officials will inspect Pallekele International Cricket Stadium (PICS) in Kandy on Friday and the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (RPICS) in Colombo.
Kandy is the host for three first round matches, including India’s Group A matches against Pakistan and Nepal on September 2 and 4 respectively. Colombo will take over to host the five Super Fours stage fixtures and the final of the tournament on September 17, with a reserve day for the title clash scheduled for September 18.
According to a statement from Sri Lanka cricket (SLC), PCB officials arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday, while officials from the ACC are already in Sri Lanka taking part in the ongoing ACC Men’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup.
The ACC and PCB delegates will also hold further discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket officials pertaining to the preparation for the upcoming Asia Cup. The visit from ACC and PCB comes just a day after the schedule of the Men’s ODI Asia Cup 2023, to be held from August 30 to September 17, was announced.
India and Pakistan have been grouped together alongside Nepal, the winners of ACC Men’s Premier Cup. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are the sides featuring in Group B.
India won the tournament the last time it was held in 50-over format in the UAE in 2018. Sri Lanka are the defending champions of Asia Cup held in 20-over format last year in the UAE.
In Pakistan, Multan Cricket Stadium will host the tournament opener between Pakistan and Nepal on August 30, with Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore being the hosts’ for the remaining three matches — two group stage and one Super Fours game, before action moves to Sri Lanka.
Barring Nepal, the Asia Cup serves as vital preparation for the rest of five teams for the ODI World Cup, to be held in India from October 5 to November 19.
The 2023 edition of Asia Cup, which is also the 16th edition of the tournament, will feature two groups, with two teams from each group qualifying for the Super Four stage. The top two teams from the Super Four stage will then face off in the final.
Irrespective of where teams finish in the first round, Pakistan will remain A1 and India will be A2, while Sri Lanka will be B1 and Bangladesh B2. In case Nepal and Afghanistan qualify for the Super fours stage of the competition, they will take the slot of the team knocked out from their respective groups.