The India-Pakistan match in the Asia Cup to be held on September 19 at the Dubai International Stadium is likely to be changed.
It is understood that India want a rescheduling of their fixtures in the Asia Cup matches to be held in UAE from September 15.
As per the present schedule India will be playing back to back matches on September 18 and 19.
Many former cricketers as well officials feel that the match schedule for the India team is too tight and it is wrong to make the team play matches, especially 50-over contests, during two consecutive days.
Though India, the defending champions, will be playing an Asian qualifier on September 18, the need for a change in date has become imperative as they play their arch rivals Pakistan on September 19.
It is after a gap of 12 years that India and Pakistan play each other in the UAE.
Leading the call for the change of schedule is former Indian opener Virender Sehwag. He remarked that he is shocked by the schedule: “No one plays back to back matches now in One Day International matches. It is wrong to have scheduled matches for India in such a manner.”
Sehwag has even pointed out that even when India play T20 matches a two-day gap is given.
“To play two One Day International matches without a break in Dubai’s hot weather is not correct scheduling,” added Sehwag.
India is in Group A along with Pakistan and the qualifier while Group B consists of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 4 and while the top two teams from the Super 4 will play the final on September 28 in Dubai.
Many feel that Asia Cricket Council, has created the schedule like they do for a T20 tournament. Incidentally, the Asia Cup, which will be staging their 14th edition, has reverted to its traditional 50-over ODI format this year after opting for a Twenty20 format in 2016 in which India had emerged the champions.
Very little time
For India, the Asia Cup commences immediately after the end of the five Test series in England.
Incidentally, India will be playing their fifth Test of the series in England from September 7 to 11 which leave some of the players very little time to return to India and fly into Dubai.
Though India play their first match only on September 18, their skipper Virat Kohli is expected here for the trophy launch before the start of the tournament from September 15.
With regard to India playing back-to-back ODIs, many countries now follow a policy of giving at least 48 hours rest for a player to recover before playing their next match.
Asia Cup officials insist that the schedule for the tournament was finalised only after consulting all the teams in the tournament and that the hue and cry over schedule is unwarranted.
Some feel that what may have irked the Indians is that Pakistan, after playing against the qualifier on September 16, get a two-day break before taking on India while India plays Pakistan without a break.