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UAE is gearing up to host this year’s biggest cricket tournament which starts on the 15th of September with the first match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Initially, the tournament was to be hosted by India, however after India’s resistance on hosting Pakistan the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) deciding that the tournament will be shifted to the UAE. The first 6 matches will decide the ‘Super Four’ meaning the top four performing teams, who will then have face-offs to pick out the best two teams to perform in the finals. ICC has awarded ODI status to all matches.
Whilst Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan), Mohammed Hafeez (Pakistan), Imad Wasim (Pakistan) and Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) have been dropped for the tournament, a broken finger casts doubts over Dinesh Chandimal’s (Sri Lanka) availability. Many fans of the sport, however, are disappointed that one of the best batsmen in the world Virat Kohli (India) will be rested and not be taking part in the tournament, Rohit Sharma will be replacing him as captain.
Sri Lanka is the defending champions in the ODI format after winning their fifth title by beating Pakistan in 2014 final. India is the T20 defending champions as well as being the most successful team in the Asia Cup tournaments with one T20 and five ODI wins.
Sri Lanka being an unpredictable team can surprise you when you least expect it, just recently after losing their first three matches in the 5 matches ODI series against South Africa they made a comeback and won the last two matches and then went on to win the one-off T20.
India’s strong batting line up consisting of players such as Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan, MS Dhoni and a reliable all-rounder like Hardik Pandya is always a treat to watch bat, however, the big question is how India fare without their ‘run machine’ Virat Kohli.
Then comes Pakistan’s destructive bowlers including Mohammed Amir, Junaid Khan, Hassan Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, and Usman Shinwari. Shaheen Shah Afridi has also made it to the squad list perhaps after he single-handily and lethally dismantled Multan’s batsmen during #PSL3 with his fifer for four runs.
Conclusively, it is going to be one helluva party! Judging by recent performances India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are the teams to look out for!