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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Asia Cup 2016: Asian giants eye continental supremacy

Asia Cup 2016: Asian giants eye continental supremacy

Last updated on: February 19, 2016 15:56 IST

asia cup

Image: The Asia Cup starts on February 24 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph: BCCI.

The Asia Cup, in Bangladesh from February 24, will be played in the T20 format for the first time in the tournament’s history.

The tournament, which precedes the World T20, in India in March, has a rich history, with India and Sri Lanka winning it five times each.

Pakistan were victorious on two occasions, while Bangladesh’s best finish is runners-up in the 2012 edition.

India will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the tournament, which will see Virat Kohli returning after taking a break from the recently-concluded three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.

Dhoni is chasing history -- to become the most successful skipper in the tournament's history.

He and former Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga have both registered nine victories and four defeats each in the Asia Cup.

The matches will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur.

The qualifying rounds, involving Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Oman, began on Friday.

Lasith Malinga, who missed the New Zealand tour due to injury, was named as skipper of Sri Lanka's team for the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20.

Angelo Mathews, who is also returning from an injury is the vice-captain. The team is also boosted by the return of Rangana Herath.

Pakistan, who start their campaign against arch-rivals India on February 27, have fielded a relatively young squad. The two-time champions will look up to their experienced all-rounders, Shahid Afridi, Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, for solidity.

Boosted by home conditions and after morale-boosting victories against Pakistan and India last year, hosts Bangladesh will consider this their best chance to claim their maiden Asia Cup title.

Squads:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Shami, Pawan Negi.

Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (Captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Milinda Siriwardena, Dasun Shanaka, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dushmantha Chameera, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Jeffrey Vandersay.

Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (Captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Immad Wasim, Anwer Ali, Babar Azam, M Nawaz, M Aamir, Iftikhar Ahmed, M Irfan, Rumman Raees, Wahab Riaz, Khurram Manzoor.

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny, Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan.

Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (Captain), Noor Ali Zadran, Mohammad Shahzad, Usman Ghani, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Sadiq, Shafiqullah, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Yamin Ahmadzai.

Hong Kong: Tanwir Afzal (Captain), Aizaz Khan, Anshy Rath, Babar Hayat, Christopher Carter, Mark Chapman, Haseeb Amjad, Adil Mehmood, Nadeem Ahmed, Nizakat Khan, Kinchit Shah, Ninad Shah, Tanveer Ahmed, Waqas Barkat, Waqas Khan.

Oman: Sultan Ahmed (Captain & wicketkeeper), Aamir Kaleem (vice-captain), Aaqib Sulehri, Adnan Ilyas, Amir Ali, Munis Ansari, Bilal Khan, Jatinder Singh, Ajay Lalcheta, Mehran Khan, Rajeshkumar Ranpura, Sufyan Mehmood, Vaibhav Wategaonkar, Zeeshan Maqsood, Zeeshan Siddiqui.

UAE: Amjad Javed (Captain), Mohammad Kaleem, Rohan Mustafa, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammad Shahzad, Swapnil Patil (VC), Usman Mushtaq, Ahmed Raza, Zaheer Maqsood, Mohammad Naveed, Farhan Ahmed, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammad Usman, Fahad Tariq, Saqlain Haider.

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