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Bangladesh confirmed as Asia Cup host

BCB and Asian Cricket Council sign Host Nation Agreement, reiterate commitment to make tournament a success

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) confirmed Bangladesh as the host of the twelfth Asia Cup on Friday (January 17). The tournament will commence on 25th February and the final will be played on 8th March.

Five teams will be participating in this edition of the Asia Cup, with Afghanistan, who received its ODI status in January 2009, being the new member to be added to this edition. Other teams include India, who is currently ranked No. 1, Pakistan, who is the defending champion, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Asian Cricket Council Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq expressed his delight after signing the host nation agreement with BCB. “We are delighted to be having the Asia Cup in Bangladesh again,” said Huq.

“The success of the last event in Bangladesh, where the support of the crowds for all teams, not just the home nation, made for a terrific event. After what has been a particularly difficult time for the citizens of Bangladesh, people can once again unite in support of their country, their visitors and the Asia Cup, an event which over the years has held up the cause of a united Asia, the new centre of cricket,” he added.

There were speculations over Bangladesh hosting the tournament following violent protests in Dhaka, the capital, ahead of the general elections. However, following security assurances from the BCB to the participating nations, it was decided on January 4 that the tournament would go ahead as planned.

The BCB Acting CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment to deliver a successful event. “We have a proud history of holding high profile international cricket competitions,” said Chowdhury.

"I believe it is a tribute to the organisational skills of the BCB and the passion for cricket in Bangladesh that the Asia Cup has returned to our country yet again. We thank the Asia Cricket Council for giving us this opportunity and every effort will be made to ensure a smooth hosting of the Asia Cup 2014,” he added.

Chowdhury also acknowledged the fact that cricket will act as a binding force for the nation. “Cricket unites Bangladesh like nothing else. I am sure that this time also we will see the same excitement, interest, fanfare and some great cricket on the field, all of which had made the last Asia Cup a tournament to remember.”

The ACC Chief Executive also confirmed STAR TV as the official broadcaster for the event. “STAR TV are rights-holders of the event, having taken on broadcast and commercial rights from the previous holders. With a reach of more than 600 million viewers across India and with millions more across a hundred other countries, STAR are ideally positioned to transmit what is the one and only tournament in cricket where India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, now with Afghanistan, are guaranteed to play each other at least once,” said Huq.

Eleven matches will be played at two venues in Dhaka -- Fatullah and the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. Pakistan will be up against Sri Lanka in the opening match.

The schedule:

February 25, 2014: Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Fatullah
February 26, 2014: Bangladesh v India, Fatullah
February 27, 2014: Afghanistan v Pakistan, Fatullah
February 28, 2014: India v Sri Lanka, Fatullah
March 01, 2014: Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Fatullah
March 02, 2014: India v Pakistan, Sher-e-Bangla
March 03, 2014: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Sher-e-Bangla
March 04, 2014: Bangladesh v Pakistan, Sher-e-Bangla
March 05, 2014: Afghanistan v India, Sher-e-Bangla
March 06, 2014: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Sher-e-Bangla
March 08, 2014: The final, Sher-e-Bangla

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