Even as the entire cricketing fraternity is awaiting the clash between India and Pakistan, Sarfraz Ahmed has questioned the entire scheduling of the tournament. Asia Cup 2018 was a tournament which was supposed to be held by the BCCI in India but owing to the political tensions between India and Pakistan, the venue had to be moved out to the UAE.
As per the schedule, India are the only team which is playing all the matches at one venue (Dubai), while other teams have to constantly move to Abu Dhabi and then come back. This has irked Sarfraz Ahmed who is not very impressed with the treatment meted out to India and then to the rest of the teams.
'It should be same for all the teams'
"If you look at the schedule, even if India lose pool match, they still play in Dubai. Travelling is an issue. If you have to travel 90 minutes and then play matches with a gap of a single day, then it is challenging. I believe it should have been the same for all the teams, irrespective of whether it is India or Pakistan. I don't know what was Asian Cricket Council's thought behind this. I think PCB is looking into the matter," said the Pakistani skipper, as reported by PTI.
However, the BCCI has rubbished all the claims of favouritism and has defended the decision of holding Indian matches at Dubai.
"The Dubai International Stadium has a capacity of 25,000 which is 5,000 more than the capacity of Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. For India versus Pakistan or India versus Bangladesh games, it is expected to be packed to capacity. BCCI is only getting the gate sales and how can we compromise on 5,000 seats," a senior BCCI official said.
It should be mentioned here that India's scheduling has also come under fire as in the extreme conditions of Dubai, the team has to play two back-to-back matches against Hong Kong and then against Pakistan.
India and Pakistan will be facing each other for the first time in the United Arab Emirates since 2006, the last of their regular matches which were also held in Sharjah from 1984-2000.