India not to play any game in Abu Dhabi

The BCCI sought a change in the schedule as it didn't want the Men in Blue to commute for almost 90 minutes pre-and post-match.

The Asia Cup format was tweaked to accommodate ‘host’.

Being a host has its advantages. When the host is India, the advantages are even more. Naturally, the format of the Asia Cup is tweaked to suit India more than the other five teams featuring in the tournament.

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With the BCCI hosting the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates in association with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), the format of the tournament was devised such that every team would play at least one game at both the venues  – the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here and the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Long commute

Sportstar understands that the BCCI sought a change in the schedule as it didn't want the Men in Blue to commute for almost 90 minutes pre- and post-match. As a result, the format is altered to ensure India, irrespective of its position in the league stage – provided it clears the first hurdle – plays all its Super 4 matches in Dubai.

“On qualifying for Super 4, the host board (India) will play as Group A – Qualifier 1,” states the Tournament Handbook, distributed to all the six participating teams and accessed by Sportstar.

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According to the original plan, had India lost to Pakistan in group A, it would have resulted in Rohit Sharma and Co. travelling to Abu Dhabi for one of the three Super 4 games.

It is intriguing to see that the rulebook makes no such provision for Group B, featuring Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Consistency, perhaps, is the last word in a cricket manual nowadays.

Super Over for final

The Super Over has emerged as a vital aspect of Twenty20 cricket. If the Asia Cup final on September 28 is a tie, the world will witness the first-ever tie-break over in an ODI.

“In case the Final is tied or produces a no result, the teams will compete in a Super Over. If the Super Over cannot be played due to the ground, weather and light conditions, both teams will be declared as Joint Winners,” clarify the playing conditions for the tournament.