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India-Pakistan on Sept 19, qualifier on Sept 18: BCCI, Sehwag slam Asia Cup schedule

The schedule for the upcoming edition of the Asia Cup was released on Tuesday, and to a surprise, it was noted that Virat kohli-led India will play two matches in consecutive days.

The tournament kicks off in the United Arab Emirates on September 15, when Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lock horns.

While India play a qualifier on September 18, they will lock horns with Pakistan on September 19.

The first stage will be followed by a ‘Super Four’ stage, which will then be followed by the final on September 28.

According to a report in CricketNext, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has termed the scheduling as ‘mindless’ adding that the scheduling was unacceptable.

“The scheduling is mindless,” said a senior BCCI official.

“There appears to be zero application of mind. How can you accept a scenario where India plays a game today and tomorrow it will face its arch-rival Pakistan who will have a two-day period of rest?,” the source added.

“This is unacceptable and has to be revisited. Maybe for the organisers it is just a money-spinning game but for us it is important that there be equity in scheduling,”  he continued.

Former cricketer Virender Sehwag too questioned the scheduling. “I am really shocked to see the scheduling because which country plays back-to-back cricket matches these days?

“There was a gap of two days in between the T20 matches in England and here you are playing ODIs under hot Dubai weather and that too without a break. So, I don’t think this is a correct scheduling,” he said to India TV.

“Why there’s such hue and cry over playing the Asia Cup? Don’t play the Asia Cup. Prepare the team for the home series or the away series. It’s really difficult to play back-to-back games,” the 39-year-old continued.

Sehwag, who has played 251 ODIs, also added that players need a minimum of 48 hours break between matches.

“There shouldn’t be any back-to-back games. If the BCCI had to cancel anything then it should have been the qualifier game in the Asia Cup rather than reducing the four-day practice match against Essex to three days.

“A player needs at least 48 hours to recover after playing an ODI match because you field for 3.5 hours and after that if you bat for 2 hours then it makes your total time spend on the ground to 5.5 hours. So, it takes a minimum of 24 to 48 hours for a player to recover,” he added.

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a qualifier will take part in the tournament. The qualifiers will be played between UAE, Singapore, Oman, Nepal, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The tournament will revert back to the 50-over format keeping in mind the ICC Cricket World Cup in England next year.

In 2016, the tournament was played in the Twenty20 format for the first just before the ICC World T20, which was won by West Indies.

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