Bangladesh to host Asia Cup
The 2014 Asia Cup will be held in Bangladesh after India, who had originally agreed to play hosts, cited a packed international schedule as the main reason for being unable to organise the tournament. The likely dates for the tournament will be February 24 to March 8. The decision was taken at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) board meeting on April 8 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where India informed the other ACC members that they were focused instead on finalising the itinerary for the New Zealand tour, scheduled to be held in February-March next year.
It is understood that Bangladesh volunteered to host the Asia Cup and even decided to postpone the scheduled tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which was to be held around the same period. According to an official privy to the minutes of the meeting, the dates could be changed again considering India have been facing "hiccups" in negotiating dates with Cricket New Zealand.
The BCCI has been trying to convince New Zealand Cricket to trim their schedule of the New Zealand tour to two Tests, two ODIs and two T20Is to enable India to participate in the Asia Cup. The ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP) has India scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and a single Twenty20 international.
Hosting the Asia Cup does throw Bangladesh's FTP schedules into disarray. According to the FTP, Bangladesh are set to host Sri Lanka for two Tests and three ODIs from the second week of February. A tri-nation series is also scheduled involving Sri Lanka and Pakistan immediately after, and just before the World Twenty20s begin on March 16.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo