Ever since the Asia Cup was introduced in 1984, the tournament has always been played in a fifty over format. However, the 2016 edition will be the first time when the giants of Asian cricket will battle it out in the shortest format of the game – T20.
The thirteenth edition of the Asia Cup is scheduled to be played in Bangladesh, which also marks the nation hosting the competition for the third straight time. Overall, Bangladesh have hosted the tournament in 1988, 2000, 2012 and 2014 in the past. India has been chosen as the next Asia Cup hosts for the 2018 edition.
The organisers did not have an alternative venue for the 2016 edition as India will be hosting the T20 World Cup next year and other countries were also overlooked for different reasons.
"Since India would host World T20 next year, the Asia Cup T20 will serve as an ideal preparatory tournament for Asian nations. With international cricket not possible in Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be in midst of monsoon, Bangladesh was the unanimous choice of the members," PTI quoted BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur as saying.
Thakur, who was present during the Asian Cricket Council meeting in Singapore, also confirmed India as the venue for the fourteenth edition of the tournament.
"The 2018 edition in India will be ODI format keeping 2019 World Cup in mind," Thakur stated.
Apart from the venues for the tournament being discussed, a number of important things came up in the meet such as strengthening Asian cricket. The members present in the meeting also agreed to help the associate nations in the sub continent for better exposure at the international level.
"The Asian Test nations like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh will send their A sides with three players mandatory from the senior side. The associate nations like Nepal, Afghanistan and Oman will play their first teams. This is an endeavour to make Asian bloc in cricket stronger. The more they will play against Test nations, they will become far more competitive," Thakur said.