Asia Cup set for February 24-March 7
The Asia Cup will be held between February 24 and March 7 in Bangladesh, pending confirmation by Nimbus, which owns the broadcasting rights for the event. The dates along with the venues and other details of the tournament were discussed at the Asian Cricket Council meeting in Chennai on Saturday. The meeting was attended by the BCCI president N Srinivasan and representatives from Sri Lanka (Nishanta Ranatuga, Sri Lankan Cricket secretary) and Pakistan (Subhan Ahmed, Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer) as well as ACC chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq.
"India has confirmed those dates. Now we will wait for the broadcaster to confirm they are fine," an official privy to the meeting told ESPNcricinfo. "Those are the only dates when all the four participating countries are available to play."
Earlier the participation of India was in doubt, with the Asia Cup beginning too soon after the finish of the 2014 New Zealand tour as per the original schedules. But the BCCI worked out a revised itinerary for the New Zealand tour - five ODIs and two Tests will be played between January 19 and February 18. "The BCCI said because we want to play the Asia Cup, we have cut down on the New Zealand tour," the official said.
The perceived doubts about Nimbus emerge from the company having filed for bankruptcy. However, the official was confident Nimbus would not pull out because the broadcaster had already paid the first installment of the bank guarantee. "There is no reason why they should not broadcast. We will provide them with a cut-off date, otherwise we will have to approach another broadcaster," he said.
Dhaka and Fatullah are likely to host the Asia Cup matches but a final decision on whether the tournament will be played at one or both venues will be taken in the near future. The tournament had been moved to Bangladesh after original hosts India said they were unable to organise the tournament due to a packed international calendar, forcing the ACC to shift the venue at a meeting on April 8 in Kuala Lumpur.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo