Former India captain, Virender Sehwag is not happy with the schedule of the Asian Cup 2018, which will have matches everyday between September 15 and 26. India are scheduled to play two back to back games on September 18 and 19. India is scheduled to play their second group stage game against Pakistan on September without having any rest after their tournament opener. Whereas Pakistan will get two days to break between their tournament opener and the match against India. This has not gone down well even with the Board of Control for Cricket in India. But Virender Sehwag is more critical about the event’s overall timing and the schedule.
Virender Sehwag, double century scorer in ODI, observed that the Asia Cup is not an ideal event for India and has asserted that they should rather plan a home series during the period. “In limited overs international cricket, players need at least a day’s rest between two games. There was at least two-day gap between the matches even for the T20 series in England. Here (in Asia Cup) they are playing 50-over format and conditions will be very hot in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” Virender Sehwag is quoted as saying by the national Hindi daily Hindustan Times.
Virender Sehwag, however, also asserted that it will not be possible for India to opt out at this late stage after having given a confirmation for the tournament.
“Which country plays two back to back 50 over international matches. In Dubai players definitely need rest after a match,” asserts Virender Sehwag, who does not believe in mincing words.
“The scheduling is mindless. There appears to be zero application of mind,” a senior BCCI official has said. “How can you accept a scenario where India plays a game today and tomorrow it will face its arch-rival Pakistan who will have a two-day period of rest?”
“This is unacceptable and has to be revisited. Maybe for the organisers it is just a money-spinning game but for us it is important that there be equity in scheduling,” the unnamed official added.
However, the Asia Cup organisers have already been compelled by broadcaster Star Sports and sponsors to amend the match timings. The matches now will start at 2 pm (Dubai time) as against the earlier 3:30 pm (Dubai time). The change is enforced to avoid the games going on well past midnight. This also means that the players will have to endure more heat on the field.