Asia Cup 2018: The worst scheduled tournament ever?

July, August and September are the worst months to live in the Gulf. Temperatures are 40+ (Celsius, in case someone from the US reads it and wonders what is the big deal), humidity is high and it is a nightmare just to step outside.

Walking from your car in the parking lot to your office building can leave you sweating profusely. In such glorious weather, we are watching international cricketers play 100 overs of intense top-level cricket. Whoever organised this tournament must really hate the players involved and wants to punish them as much as possible.

If weather conditions weren’t difficult enough as it is, organisers have added another difficulty level by keeping matches on consecutive days as well. First India played Hong Kong and Pakistan on consecutive days and now we have Bangladesh playing Afghanistan and India one after the other. Bangladesh has had to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai as well while playing 2 matches in 2 days.

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It is better to chase if one looks at the pitch as it quickens up as the day progresses thanks to a bit of dew but nobody wants to field in the sun in this weather so Captains are choosing to bat to avoid that. It is absolutely brutal on the bowlers and we will be lucky if we don’t see a bowler collapsing due to the sheer exhaustion of playing in these conditions.

Many people have pointed out the empty seats during most of the matches, even during the evening after offices close. However, the temperatures don’t drop much even after sunset and the humidity levels rise. Going out to watch a meaningless tournament in high heat and humidity is not exactly a very attractive proposition. India-Pakistan is the only match that is going to bring the crowd in and that is why they came up with a format to maximise the number of India-Pak matches.

Yes, there is a limited window for tournaments like Asia Cup thanks to the nonstop cricket most of these players are playing. Yes, the tournament had to be relocated to UAE from India because of India-Pakistan tensions, but surely there is a better way than making them play in a desert during the summer.


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