Saturday, 10 March 2012

India Seek Redemption At Asia Cup

MIRPUR: The 11th edition of the Asia Cup cricket tournament begins here tomorrow with defending champions India hoping to redeem their pride and restore their reputation after the debacle in Australia.

Hosts Bangladesh will take on Pakistan in the opening fixture of the four-nation tournament which will conclude on March 22.

Bangladesh have not won a single ODI series in the four they played last year, even losing 2-3 to Zimbabwe in a five-match rubber when they visited the African country. They lost by identical 0-3 to Australia and Pakistan and 1-2 to West Indies, all at home.

The hosts were also mired in controversies in the run-up to the tournament with young wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim in the dock after voicing his concerns about player payments in the Bangladesh Premier League and had a 24-hour wait before he was made captain.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal was dropped by the Board chief, then asked to prove his fitness -- despite being passed fit by the team doctor two days earlier -- and then picked again.

In the middle of it all, chief selector Akram Khan, who happens to be Tamim's uncle, quit over claims of interference.

The young side, however, cannot be taken lightly as Bangladesh can be giant-killers on their day and the other three established sides of world cricket can hardly afford to be complacent.

The unpredictable Pakistan, on the other hand, would want to begin their campaign with a win with a new coach Dav Whatmore taking charge. It will be Whatmore's first assignment with the team and he will be hoping to make an impression straightaway.


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