Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo
Bangladesh have been awarded the rights to host the 2012 Asia Cup after an executive committee meeting of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Dhaka over the weekend. The tournament will be held at the Shere Bangla National stadium in Mirpur from March 1 to March 12. The last time Bangladesh hosted the Asia Cup was in 2000.
"We are thrilled the 11th Asia Cup will be held in Bangladesh," Syed Ashraful Huq, CEO of the ACC, told ESPNcricinfo. "It goes well with Mustafa Kamal's presidency of both bodies [ACC and the Bangladesh Cricket Board] and we are confident the tournament will go well."
The tournament will involve Asia's four Test-playing nations - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. "We are endeavouring to have more countries take part in future events [of the Asia Cup]," Shahriar Khan, media manager of the ACC, told ESPNcricinfo. "At this stage Afghanistan are the only real world-class challengers. We would like the other countries to come up and once they are ready, we would expand the Asia Cup in the years ahead."
China was one of the contenders for hosting the tournament but lost out due to questions over whether it had the cricketing infrastructure to hold a quadrangular one-day competition. "There are no floodlights, that are required, as all the matches [in the Asia Cup] have to be day and night games," Huq said. The cricket matches of last month's Asian Games were held in the city of Guangzhou in southern China. Guangzhou's stadium has an 80-metre boundary and seven pitches, four of which were used to hold 30 Twenty20 matches during the Asian Games.
India are the current holders of the Asia Cup, having beaten Sri Lanka by 81 runs in the final in Dambulla in June this year.