Asia Cup shifted to UAE over India-Pakistan cricket row

Pakistan and India met in the final of the Champions Trophy in England last summer. (AFP)
Updated 10 April 2018
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Asia Cup shifted to UAE over India-Pakistan cricket row

  • PCB calls for September tournament to be relocated
  • India has suspended bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan since the 2008 attacks in Mumbai
KUALA LUMPAR: Cricket’s Asia Cup has been moved from India to the UAE over Pakistan’s refusal to cross the border, as relations simmer between the arch rivals, the Asian Cricket Council said Tuesday.
The biennial event was due to be held in India in September, sparking protests from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who called for the event to be relocated.
“This year’s Asia Cup is moved out of India to UAE and will be held from September 13-28,” Sultan Rana, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) development and event manager, told AFP.
India has suspended bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan since the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on militants based across the border.
However India has continued to square off with Pakistan in international events like the 2016 Asia Cup in Bangladesh, the World Twenty20 at home and the 2017 Champions Trophy in England.
The Asia Cup has been marred by strained Indo-Pak relations since its inception when the UAE hosted it in 1984.
Two years later, India pulled out of the event in Sri Lanka, while Pakistan refused to send its team to India when it hosted the cup in 1991.
With Pakistan and India unable to host, Bangladesh held three straight Asian Cups from 2012 to 2016.
Rana said six Asian teams will compete in the 50-over Asia Cup.
“India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the five top teams while, there will be a qualifying round to select the sixth team,” said Rana, a former Pakistan first class player.
Meanwhile, the ACC Emerging Asia Cup was also jeopardized earlier this month when India refused to send their team to Pakistan to compete.
“Emerging Cup will now be hosted jointly by Pakistan and Sri Lanka in December this year,” said Rana.
India will play its Emerging Cup matches in Sri Lanka.


Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori get ready to serve up the action in Dubai championship

Updated 23 February 2019
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Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori get ready to serve up the action in Dubai championship

DUBAI: With the women’s tournament now over for another year, it is the turn of the men to wow the crowds in Dubai, with the men’s ATP event getting underway in the emirate this weekend.
The tournament has traditionally attracted some of the biggest names in the sport, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray all having played in the past.
The 2019 entry list is no different, with Roger Federer, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, Karen Khachanov and Stefanos Tsitsipas all on show this week.
World No. 6 and top-seeded Nishikori will get his tournament up and running against Frenchman Benoit Paire, while second seed Roger Federer — seven-time champion in Dubai who last won the title in 2015 — will face German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Croatian Marin Clilc has arguably the toughest opening match against the recent Rotterdam Open winner Gael Monfils.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, who shocked Federer at the Australian Open, begins his campaign against the Australian Matt Eden.
Other notable first round ties see Tomas Berdych up against Aljaz Bedene and last year’s champion Roberto Bautista Agut playing India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan.
Federer, apart from chasing an eighth title in what is likely to be his Swanson in Dubai, will also be hoping for victory next weekend to claim his 100th title on the ATP tour.
Nishikori, however, will be out to stop the Swiss ace and claim the $565,000 winner’s prize and his second title of the year having won the Brisbane International last month.