The United Arab Emirates has been awarded the 2018 Asia Cup that was originally slated to be held in India. The tournament will be played between September 13 and 28, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Political tensions between India and Pakistan has been cited as the reason for the change. "The ACC deliberated on the matter and decided that this was the best way forward," Asian Cricket Council and PCB chairman Najam Sethi told ESPNcricinfo. "All decisions were unanimous. All participants agreed to support the return of international cricket to Pakistan subject to certain constraints. That's why the ACC Annual General Meeting will he held in Lahore and the BCCI has pledged to participate in it like all other ACC members. That's why a number of matches of the Emerging Asia Cup will be played in Pakistan."
The Asia Cup will feature 50-overs games between Full Members India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a sixth team. The sixth team will be determined via a play-off that includes UAE, Hong Kong, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia and Oman. Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be the venues for the tournament, where India is to serve as the official host. The Emirates Cricket Board is renting out the stadiums.
This will be the 14th edition of the Asia Cup. The first 12 were staged as ODI competitions, while the previous Asia Cup in 2016 was the first to be held as a T20I event, effectively as a warm-up event ahead of the World T20. India are the defending champions, having beaten Bangladesh in the final two years ago.
The 2018 Emerging Teams' Asia Cup, meanwhile, will be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Originally slated for April, the tournament has been moved to December. Pakistan will also play host to the next ACC Annual General Meeting, which will be held later this year.