The 16th edition of the Asia Cup is all set to take place in August–September this year, with all games being played in the 50-over format (ODIs). Pakistan and Sri Lanka will co-host the tournament this time around. Six teams are part of the tournament this year: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, with Sri Lanka being the defending champion.
Four matches will be played in Pakistan, and the rest of the matches are scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka, making it the first-ever Asia Cup to be jointly hosted by multiple nations. The cricket betting sites will be covering Asia Cup 2023.
The groups and structure of the competition were revealed earlier, with the six squads divided into two categories of three. There will be a total of 13 games, including a final, six Super 4 games, and six league games.
Group A consists of the winners of the qualifying competition (2023 ACC Men's Premier Cup): Nepal, India, and Pakistan, while Group B is made up of the reigning champions, Sri Lanka, along with Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Four, and The top two teams will then face off in the championship game.
Fierce Competition and the Rise of Contenders
As of today, India seems to be the clear favourites to win the tournament this year. They faltered last year in 2022 when the Asia Cup was played in the T20 format, but this time it is in the ODI format, and beating Team India in this format of the game is a very difficult task to do for any team. Even though India are the favourites, it would be a blunder to rule out any team from the list of contenders to win the Asia Cup in 2023. All the other teams are competitive and know how to do the hard job, especially Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Since the tournament is going to be played on the subcontinent, Bangladesh and Afghanistan become really strong teams all of a sudden. The pitches in Asia are spin-friendly, and Afghanistan probably has the best spin-bowling department out of all the teams in the tournament. Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb ur Rahman are very skilled bowlers and can trouble any batting unit on their day.
Bangladesh also has excellent spinners in their ranks, such as Shakib Al Hasan, Afif Hossain, and Mehidy Hasan Miraz. Both of these teams have grown in stature a lot and have improved their games constantly.
It would not be a surprise to anyone in the cricket fraternity if both of these teams caused a few big upsets at the Asia Cup 2023. They can beat any team, such as India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka. The most prominent thing is that these teams have improved their game in all facets and have a strong batting unit as well.
The players of these teams have started gaining confidence and have the belief that they can win matches for their country. In the recently concluded series between them, both teams showed great composure and fight during the whole game.
It will not be a cakewalk for any of these teams to win the Asia Cup trophy, but they are very capable of achieving the ultimate goal and causing a few big upsets in the tournament later this year.