Sending his heartfelt wishes ahead of the 2023 Asia Cup, former cricketer Shahid Afridi expressed his optimism for the national team’s success. Afridi, in a message on X, conveyed his excitement for the Asia Cup returning to Pakistan after a 15-year gap.
He urged for warm hospitality towards the participating teams to create a joyous celebration of the sport. Commencing today, the Asia Cup 2023 will witness Pakistan, the highest-ranked One-Day International team, taking on Nepal in a Group A match at Multan Cricket Stadium.
This event marks both Nepal’s entry as a team and Multan’s debut as a venue in the Asia Cup. Additionally, this match will be the first encounter between Pakistan and Nepal at the elite level.
Before the match, which starts at 14:30 PST, fans will enjoy an engaging opening ceremony. The 2023 Asia Cup, scheduled between August 30 and September 17, is co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, due to security concerns, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) opted not to send their team to Pakistan. Consequently, four matches will be held in Pakistan, while the remaining nine, including the final, will take place in Sri Lanka.
Group A comprises Pakistan, Nepal, and India, while Group B includes Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka. Departing from the T20 and ODI alternation since 2016, the 2023 edition of the Asia Cup adopts the 50-over format. This decision aims to assist teams in their preparation for the upcoming World Cup in India later this year.
The reigning champions of the 50-over Asia Cup are India, who secured victory in the last edition held in 2018. With the momentum on their side, Pakistan is hopeful to perform well in the event. Pakistan will be lead by Babar Azam in the tournament.