2008 Asia Cup Cricket Tournament

The Asia Cup Cricket Tournament is an international cricket event which was conceived in the year 1983 along with the birth of the Asian Cricket Council in the same year. Originally the ACC(Asian Cricket Council))was established as a measure to promote goodwill among the Asian nations. The original plan was to hold the tournament in every two years and the first tournament was held in 1984 in Sharjah, UAE where the council’s offices were based (until 1995). ICC(International Cricket Council) has officially given One Day International status to all the matches played for the Asia Cup.

Till now Indian cricket team has won the Asia Cup the most times (4 times) and appeared in all the final matches apart from the 1986 and 2000 cup, during which period India did not participated in the Tournament due to its bad relation with host nation Sri Lanka. Recently ACC has announced that the Asia Cup Cricket tournament will be held biennially from 2008 onwards.

The ninth edition of the Asia Cup Cricket Tournament will be held in Pakistan from 24th June 2008 onwards and will continue till 6th July 2008.This would be the first time Pakistan would be hosting the three-side tournament, including Bangladesh. In this edition the participant nations are India, Pakistan, Srilanka, UAE, Hong Kong and Bangladesh. There will be three teams in each group and the top two teams from each group will qualify for the second round.

From the second round top two teams will contest the final. Karachi will host 10 of the 13 matches, while Lahore will host three and all matches will be day-night affairs, starting late in the afternoon about 04:00 PM local time. As per a recent news article, former Pakistani Cricket captain Wasim Akram was saying India is the most favourite for the 2008 Asia Cup Champion considering the current conditions of arch-rival Pakistan team. He says “Though Karachi’s hot weather will be an additional rival for the participating teams in the Asia Cup, I see India as hot favourites for the event,” the Dawn quoted Akram as saying. Till date India has performed very well in all the Asia Cup tournaments and has won the Championship 4 times.

Considering their current exposure to IPL matches and the well praised performance in the ongoing Bangladesh Tri-Series, they are certainly the favourite for this edition of the championship also. However, tournament host & arch rival Pakistan and mighty Srilanka wont let it happen without pain. Let us see who comes out as the Champion in the 9th edition of 2008 Asia Cup Cricket Tournament!