The ICC and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) have confirmed that the UAE will host the 2018 Asia Cup after a row between India and Pakistan threatened to derail the biennial tournament.
India were due to host the competition this September but after complaints from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) it was decided that the best course of action would be to switch the event to the United Arab Emirates.
“This year’s Asia Cup is moved out of India to UAE and will be held from September 13-28,” Sultan Rana, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) development and event manager, told AFP.
“India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the five top teams while, there will be a qualifying round to select the sixth team.”
Emirates Cricket Board chairman, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, said: “Emirates Cricket is very proud for the UAE to be chosen as host venue of the ACC Asia Cup.
“Our board has very close relationships with our Asian Cricket counterparts and, with the full support of our national sports councils and the Emirates Cricket Board members.
“This is a very important tournament in the ACC calendar, and one we are extremely pleased to secure, especially during the auspicious ‘Year of Zayed’. We extend our sincere thanks to the ACC, Asia Cup hosts BCCI, and all Member Unions for their trust and unanimous support.”
— UAE Cricket Official (@EmiratesCricket) April 12, 2018
India severed bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which were blamed on Pakistani militants.
Pakistan last toured India in 2012-13 and played there again in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, But aside from that the only meetings between the sides in the last decade have been on neutral territory.
They faced off in the 2016 Asian Cup in Bangladesh as well as the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, which was won by Pakistan.
The Asia Cup has been marred by strained Indo-Pak relations since its inception when the UAE hosted it in 1984. Two years later, India pulled out of the event in Sri Lanka, while Pakistan refused to send its team to India when it hosted the cup in 1991.
Bangladesh hosted the past three Asian Cups from 2012 to 2016.