India to face Pakistan in Asia Cup on February 27

India will face Bangladesh in Asia Cup 2016 opener.

In Asia Cup 2014, Pakistan won the match against India by one wicket.   -  Getty Images

The Asian Cricket Council on Friday announced the itinerary for the forthcoming Asia Cup in Dhaka, with India facing host Bangladesh at the Sher-E-Bangla Stadium in the opening match on February 24. The tournament, which will run until March 6, will be held in the Twenty20 International format for the first time and is expected to serve as a warm up for the ICC World Twenty20, to be held in India in March and April.

Traditionally played in the 50-over format, this year’s edition of the biennial tournament will be played in the T20 format for the first time in its history. The continental event assumes even greater significance than usual this year, as it will allow competing teams to hone themselves for the ICC World T20, which starts on March 8 in India.

Commenting on the Asia Cup, President of the ACC, Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala, said, “The Asia Cup marks one of the most important events in the cricketing calendar for the Asian countries and it will be a good build up to the ICC World T20 later this year. I am aware the officials have worked tirelessly to make this event a success and I thank them for their efforts.”

“Let me take this opportunity to wish all participating teams the very best of luck, and hope the teams play the tournament in the true spirit of the game,” he said.

Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Oman will play in a qualifying round for the Asia Cup from February 19 to 22 in Fatullah, on the outskirts of Dhaka.

That will determine the qualifying nation which will join the four Test-playing countries, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh will host the event for the fifth time, with all matches scheduled to be held at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Itinerary:

Feb 24: Bangladesh vs India at Mirpur

Feb 25: Sri Lanka vs qualifier at Mirpur

Feb 26: Bangladesh vs qualifier at Mirpur

Feb 27: India vs Pakistan at Mirpur

Feb 28: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka at Mirpur

Feb 29: Pakistan vs qualifier at Mirpur

Mar 1: India vs Sri Lanka at Mirpur

Mar 2: Bangladesh vs Pakistan at Mirpur

Mar 3: India vs qualifier at Mirpur

Mar 4: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka at Mirpur

Mar 6: Final at Mirpur