The highly anticipated Asia Cup 2023 is set to commence on August 30, featuring cricketing powerhouses India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. Uniquely, this edition embraces a hybrid model, with four games scheduled in Pakistan and the remaining nine held in Sri Lanka, culminating in a final showdown in Colombo.
While the Asia Cup stands as a pinnacle of Asian cricket, determining the finest team in the continent, its significance is magnified by its role as a precursor to the grander spectacle – the World Cup in India this October-November. Pakistan enters the competition on a high note, having clinched victory against Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series held in Sri Lanka.
For Team India, the tournament poses an opportunity to reintegrate key players returning from injuries, though uncertainties hover over their batting order. Squad lists for each team have been unveiled:
Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Abdul Rahman, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Suliman Safi, Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Kumer Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Naim Sheikh, Shamim Hossain, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Tanzim Hasan Sakib
Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel
Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumraj, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
Travelling reserve: Sanju Samson
Rohit Paudel (c), Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Bhim Sharki, Kushal Malla, Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulshan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Pratish GC, Mousom Dhakal, Sundeep Jora, Kishore Mahato, Arjun Saud
Sri Lanka’s squad is yet to be announced.
The tournament will kick off at 3 PM IST, except for the Pakistan-hosted games. The Asia Cup 2023 can be enjoyed via the Star Sports network on television and streamed live on the Disney+ Hotstar app and website. A noteworthy highlight is that mobile users can watch the tournament for free, ensuring cricket enthusiasts can engage with the action seamlessly. As the cricketing world braces for this thrilling continental showdown, fans anticipate fierce competition and spectacular performances on the field.