Ashwin throws weight behind Pakistan ahead of Asia Cup, World Cup

Indian spinner says Pakistan are an exceptional side

By Web Desk
August 30, 2023
Ashwin (R) says Babar and Rizwan's performance will be key for Pakistan - AFP

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has backed Pakistan team to do well in the Asia Cup and World Cup this year.

Ashwin believes that Pakistan have an exceptional team heading into the major tournaments.

"If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan gives consistent performances with the bat in the middle-order, then Pakistan are going to be one hell of a team going into this Asia Cup and World Cup. It will take some beating. Pakistan is an exceptional side," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

"It all comes down to their squad depth. Pakistan have always produced extraordinary cricketers. Because of tape ball cricket, they have always had fast bowlers coming through their ranks. Their batting has been special in the late 90s and 2000s. But their exposure to different leagues has been a major reason for their re-emergence in the last 5-6 years. They have PSL. In the recent BBL drafts they were at least 60-70 Pakistan players," he further added.

The 2023 Asia Cup will be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka between August 30 and September 17.

All the matches of Asia Cup will not be played in Pakistan because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to send their team to Pakistan due to security concerns.

Four matches will be played in Pakistan, while nine, including the final, will be played in Sri Lanka.

Pakistan are in Group A alongside Nepal and India. Meanwhile, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B.

The T20 and ODI formats have alternated at the Asia Cup since 2016. The 2023 edition will be played in the 50-over format in order to help the teams prepare for the World Cup in India later this year.

India are the defending champions of the 50-over Asia Cup, which was last held in 2018.

Complete schedule

Group Stage

Aug 30 - Pakistan vs Nepal in Multan at 2:30 pm (PST)

Aug 31 - Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka in Kandy at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 2 - Pakistan vs India in Kandy at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 3 - Bangladesh vs Afghanistan in Lahore at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 4 - India vs Nepal in Kandy at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 5 - Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka in Lahore at 2:30 pm (PST)

Super 4s

Sept 6 - A1 vs B2 in Lahore at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 9 - B1 vs B2 in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 10 - A1 vs A2 in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 12 - A2 vs B1 in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 14 - A1 vs B1 in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 15 - A2 vs B2 in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 17 - Final in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

*Positions irrespective of teams' positions after first round

- Pakistan will remain A1

- India will remain A 2

- If either of them (India and Pakistan) don't qualify for Super 4s then Nepal will take their position

- Sri Lanka will remain B1

- Bangladesh will remain B2

- If either of them (Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) don't qualify for Super 4s then Afghanistan will take their position