ACC ASIA CUP 2021 TEAMS
ACC Asia Cup 2021 is going to take place in June this year. The tournament is organized by Asian Cricket Council every two years. This edition of the Cup was supposed to be held in 2020 which got postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Taking the safety and health of the players as well as the audience into consideration, the council pushed the dates of the tournament to the following year.
PARTICIPATING TEAMS IN ASIA CUP
Now, when the tournament is supposed to take place in a span of just a few months, let us know who all are going to be part of the race for winning the prestigious Asia Cup. The Full Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status are eligible to make their place in the tournament without any Qualifying Matches. Such Asian Countries include;
- Sri Lanka
A total of six teams are going to compete with each other this year to win the Asia King title. The above mentioned five teams have already secured their position in the Matches of the tournament.
For the last place, a Qualifier Round is organised by the Asian Cricket Council every time. Only the countries who are associate members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) can compete with each other in the Qualifier Round to fill the vacant place in the Asia Cup Teams list.
A DETAILED DISCUSSION ABOUT THE TEAMS
Now, when we know who can be a part of the Asia Cup this year. Let us know in detail about all Asia Cup 2021 Teams;
The Indian cricket team has been actively taking part in the Asia Cup since its inception. The Men in Blue are a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status. The governing body is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for Team India.
The Indian cricket team is the most successful in the history of the Asia Cup. The team has won over seven titles to date. The team has been consecutively winning the Asia Champions title from the past two editions of the Asia Cup that made them the defending champions for this edition of Asia cup 2021.
The Indian Cricket won the inaugural Asian cup. The Men in Blue have secured the top place in the contender race for the Asia Cup title, after winning in 1984, 1988, 1990-91, 1995, 2010, 2016, and 2018.
The Indian cricket team took part in the Asia Cup in all the years except one year. In 1986, India had not taken part in the Asia Cup tournament due to tense relations with Sri Lanka. The main reason for this was the conflict between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Indian government was worried about the security of the cricketers in their southern neighbour.
Also, the cricketers were unhappy due to the controversies surrounding their tour in Sri Lanka in 1985. So, they boycotted the second edition of the Asia Cup. This makes them the team who have played second-most times in the Asia Cup after Sri Lanka.
-CONTROVERSIES ABOUT PARTICIPATION
In January 2021, media portals flashed the news of the cancellation of participation of the Indian cricket team in the Asia Cup this year. The reason for the speculation is the coinciding dates of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship Finals and the inception of the ACC Asia cup tournament.
In case India makes it to the finals of the former, it can be a case of clashing of calendars. So, reports state that BCCI may not take a chance. They can withdraw their candidature from the list of the playing teams in the Asia Cup this year.
Earlier also, when in December 2019, The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) gave the hosting rights to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), there was a state of discontentment in BCCI.
There was a request by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ACC for a change in the venue of the tournament due to the tough political situations between the two nations. The Indian Cricket board was worried over the security of the Indian players in the neighbouring then host nation. The shift in the host nation from Pakistan to Sri Lanka is the effect of the fear of boycott of the series by the most successful team of the tournament.
-There is no official announcement on the non-participation of Team India in the Asia Cup 2021, and these reports are just speculations as of now. Fans are still hopeful to see their favourite Team India playing in the Asia Cup tournament. Let us see what the future beholds!
2) Sri Lanka
The national men’s cricket team of Sri Lanka is also a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) status. The team is looked after by Sri Lanka Cricket. They are commonly named ‘The Lions’. The five times winning nation is set to play this year’s Asia Cup as well.
They have been the champions in the years 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, and 2014. The country holds the title of being the second most successful team in the Asia Cup after winning five Cups. The Sri Lankan cricket team has a history of never boycotting any single tournament of the Asia cup. They have played 14 Asia Cups that is the highest for any nation.
They certainly have an edge over others since the team will have home grounds to play. It will be interesting to see if the Host Sri Lankan Team is able to hold the Asia Cup 2021 and break the streak of consecutive wins by Team India!
Sri Lanka is all set to host the Asia Cup 2021 edition. The country got the hosting rights from the previous host PCB. The Asia Cup 2021 is apparently going to take place in June 2021 in the host country itself. It will be the fifth time when Sri Lanka will host the Asia Cup Tournament.
The two times Asia cup holder is going to be one of the six teams playing for the Asia Cup 2021. Pakistan’s national cricket team, also known as falcons is controlled by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The Men in Green are a Full Member of the International Cricket Council and participate in Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International cricket matches.
The team has secured its place as the third-best performing team in the history of the Asia Cup. They have won in the years 2000 and 2012. It will be quite interesting to see if the Pakistani Cricket Team gets lucky the third time or goes home bare-handed!
Pakistan was earlier the host of this edition of the ACC Asia Cup when it was set to be organised last year. The tournament was pushed further due to the pandemic caused by the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Later, the hosting rights got transferred to Sri Lanka. A statement from the Asian Cricket Council reads, “It may also be noted that the hosts for the Asia Cup 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has exchanged hosting rights for the tournament with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). “
The statement further declared to give hosting rights of the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup to the initial host of this year’s tournament. An excerpt from the media issue declares hosting powers- “Through this arrangement, the SLC will now host the rescheduled Asia Cup expected in June 2021 while the PCB will host the Asia Cup 2022.”
The Pakistan cricket team took part in the Asia Cup in all the years except one edition. Pakistan has boycotted the tournament during 1990-91 due to extremely high political tensions with its neighbour and co participating nation India. This year India was the host for the fourth edition of the Asia Cup. So, Pakistan decided not to visit India for the Asia Cup tournament.
This makes them the team who have played second-most times in the Asia Cup after Sri Lanka. They share this position with India.
The tense political situation between the two countries (India and Pakistan) continued further that led to the cancellation of the 1993 tournament.
The Bangladesh Cricket team popularly known as ‘The Tigers’ is also a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) status. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) manages the team.
Bangladesh has played host for the ACC Asia Cup five times to date. They have never been able to grab any single cup till now. The team is consistently improving its performance and has made it to the finals thrice in 2012, 2016, and 2018. Who knows if the previous edition’s runner up becomes the winner this time!
The Afghanistan men’s national team has been controlled by the Afghanistan Cricket Board since 1995. It became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001. Also, the team became a member of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in 2003. Afghanistan became the first-ever country to achieve Full Member status after holding Affiliate Membership of the ICC.
Till the year 2000, Afghanistan was not eligible to be a part of the Asia Cup tournament since it was not a member of ICC. Before 2014, the team could not qualify to make its place in the tournament even after becoming eligible after holding the ICC membership.
The team has played just thrice in the ACC Asia Cup tournament. The last edition saw Afghanistan being a Super 4 team. This time it will be interesting to watch how far this team goes!
6) Team to be Selected from Qualifier Round
The Asia Cup Qualifier 2020 tournament was conducted to find the final team of the Asia Cup Tournament. Earlier this edition of the Asia Cup was to be held in 2020, so the qualifying matches began in February and March 2020 itself.
There were a total of 13 teams who decided to try their hands at getting on the Asia Cup participants list. A total of eight teams were there in the Western event and five in the Eastern event. ACC planned the Final Asia Cup Qualifier tournament to take place in August 2020 in Malaysia.
However, when the Asia Cup was postponed due to the pandemic, it led to the postponement of the Asia Cup qualifier too. The format of this qualifier match is going to be Twenty20 International (T20I).
– Western Region Qualifier
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) organised the Western Region qualifier in Thailand from 29 February to 6 March 2020. The participating teams were divided into two groups;
- GROUP A: The first group had four teams-Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the Maldives.
- GROUP B: The second group also had four teams- United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.
After different matches, four teams progressed to the semi-finales-Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE
– Eastern Region Qualifier
The 2020 ACC Eastern Region T20 tournament was conducted in Bangkok, Thailand, from 29 February to 6 March 2020. Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, and Singapore took part in the tournament along with Thailand. Earlier, China was also going to be a part of this tournament but it had to withdraw due to Covid-19. Bhutan and Myanmar were also supposed to be a part of the tournament, but they withdrew their participation later.
Qualifying matches were held to decide the top two contenders for the Asia Cup tournament. Singapore and Hong Kong made their way to the final qualifying matches from the Eastern region group.
ASIA CUP QUALIFIER
This was supposed to take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2020. The top two teams from both regions will face each other. The western region group found its top two performers in Kuwait and the UAE. Singapore and Hong Kong are the two finalists from the eastern region.
Let us know these four potential candidates who can be the sixth team in the ACC Asia Cup;
- a) Kuwait
The men’s national cricket team of Kuwait is organised by the Kuwait Cricket Association. It has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 2005 and was an affiliate member since 1998.
The team has never got a chance to take part in the Asia Cup. It will be interesting to see if this team can make its debut in the tournament or not!
- b) The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates cricket team is headed by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB). It became an Affiliate Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1989 and an Associate Member the next year.
They have taken part in Asia Cup earlier also, but they have never been able to even make it to the finals, leave alone winning the trophy!
- c) Hong Kong
The Hong Kong national cricket team is the team representing independent Hong Kong in international cricket competitions. It has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 1969.
They have played a few times in The Asia Cup tournament but never been able to move ahead to the first round. We will have to see whether fate changes for Hong Kong this time!
The Singapore cricket team represents the Republic of Singapore in international cricket matches and tournaments. It has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 1974. Also, the country was an established member of the Asian Cricket Council established in 1983.
They have never been able to even make it to the Asia Cup tournament. It will be quite interesting to watch if the team can make its place in the list of participating nations or will be unable to make it to the tournament once again!
-Once, the official authorities announce the dates of the Qualifier round, the matches will be held to determine the sixth team in the Asia Cup tournament this year. It will be interesting to see who grabs the final seat in the prestigious tournament among the four contenders.
Time will tell who all are going to be a part of the Asia Cup 2021 Tournament! For all the latest updates and happenings in the tournament, keep watching this space!