Asia Cup 2023
source: Cricket Times

Asian countries seem to have an advantage over others as they will get to compete in the multi-nation tournament i.e., Asia Cup right before the marquee event ICC World Cup 2023. Or one can say the most controversial tournament will begin in Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the end of this month. 

Sri Lanka was on a roll in last year’s Asia Cup as they defeated both India and Pakistan and eventually won the title. On the other hand, there have been a few setbacks for the Bangladesh team as their captain, Tamim Iqbal, gave up the captaincy and also got ruled out of the Asia Cup due to an injury. 

However, Afghanistan is another team, who are knocking the regular playing nations like Bangladesh and Pakistan and that too before huge events like the Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup. 

Here’s how the Asia Cup 2023 will play a huge role for the Asian teams in moving forward:

Firstly, this tournament will be nothing but a mini–World Cup for the favourites India and Pakistan. This is the right time and opportunity for both teams to find the right combinations through experimenting and finding their perfect eleven for the upcoming World Cup. Even though both teams look strong on paper, there have been some issues with them. India have three or four players coming back from injury while Pakistan is struggling against Afghanistan in the ongoing series.

With just 40 days left for the marquee event, it is important for both teams to level up their game and solve all the questions before entering the World Cup. 

Secondly, it is a monumental achievement for Nepal cricket as they will be making an appearance in this year’s Asia Cup. This will be a huge boost for the youngsters of Nepal as they will be getting to see their players for the first time in a tournament like the Asia Cup. They dominantly defeated the United Arab Emirates in the finals of the qualifiers for the Asia Cup and eventually made it here. 

They are placed in the group with India and Pakistan. It will be a huge moment for the Nepal cricketers to play against teams like India and Pakistan, if not win against them but they will get to learn a lot in this tournament. 

Lastly, for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, it is a huge opportunity to showcase what they are capable of doing. Sri Lanka were the underdogs in the last Asia Cup and eventually ended up winning the tournament which was a huge boost for the whole country. 

While Bangladesh are not far away, as they have recently won an ODI series against India. With players like Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan and a few youngsters in the mix, the Tigers can create an impact against any team. And if they can reach the knockouts, they will be back in the form they are known for.

Well, what can you say about Afghanistan? The team is leaping towards growth with every game. Nothing can dampen their spirits, not even a defeat from regular teams as they are on the path of learning and getting better. With Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and others, it will be no surprise if they beat the favourites of this tournament. This tournament will be a testament to this group and its ability to compete in the multi-nation tournaments.

Even in the ongoing series against Pakistan, they have been on top and troubling the men in green in every way possible. With this confidence and approach, Team Afghanistan will be way ahead in the coming years in the cricket World. 


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