The anticipation and excitement surrounding the Asia Cup 2023 have reached new heights as the Pakistan men’s cricket team landed in Kandy on Thursday, setting the stage for the highly anticipated match against arch-rivals India on September 2.
Fresh from their emphatic victory in the opening match against Nepal in Multan, Pakistan’s cricket stars have wasted no time in transitioning to the next electrifying chapter of the tournament. The team’s impressive all-round performance in their campaign opener saw skipper Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed’s centuries, complemented by the fiery spells of Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf, leading to a resounding victory by 238 runs against Nepal.
Having secured their triumphant start, the Pakistani squad swiftly embarked on their journey to Kandy, emboldened by their success and ready to take on their rivals in what promises to be a gripping cricket spectacle. The team’s departure was marked by a late-night flight, demonstrating their commitment and enthusiasm to face their long-standing competitors.
Pakistan finds itself in Group A alongside India and Nepal, setting the stage for intense battles and thrilling cricket encounters. Meanwhile, Group B features Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, ensuring a tournament that promises to keep cricket enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.
The Asia Cup 2023 will be a hybrid affair, with Pakistan hosting four matches at two different venues and Sri Lanka shouldering the responsibility of hosting the remaining games. The competition will kick off with six exhilarating group-stage matches, leading up to the eagerly anticipated Super Fours, which are scheduled to commence on September 6.
As the teams vie for supremacy, the culmination of the Asia Cup will feature the final showdown on September 17 in Colombo. The top two teams emerging from the Super Fours will battle it out for ultimate glory, an event that promises to be a fitting conclusion to a tournament packed with high-octane cricket action.
Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Tayyab Tahir (travelling reserve).
Indian Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.