Hong Kong, Kuwait, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are all set to battle it out for the four-team round robin style Asia Cup qualifier at Al-Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman, starting from August 20.
The winning team of the qualifier tournament will earn a spot in Group A alongside India and Pakistan in the main Asia Cup event, set to start in Dubai and Sharjah from August 27. For the winners, they have the chance to square off against India (August 31) and Pakistan (September 2) in the Asia Cup.
The United Arab Emirates are the highest ranked T20I team in the qualifier tournament at 12. But as per recent form, there doesn’t appear to be much difference between the four contenders for the Group A spot in Asia Cup.
Hong Kong will be buoyed by their comprehensive seven-wicket triumph over Singapore at the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier B last month in Zimbabwe. They also have an experienced former first-class cricketer and Ireland international Trent Johnston as their head coach.
“The Asia Cup qualifiers, and Asia Cup, present a great opportunity for us to finish off an intense and long period of overseas tours on a high. I’m incredibly proud of the efforts of all the players and the sacrifices both them and their families have made to be able to tour for such a long period.”
“We’ve got a great group of players that I know are excited by the chance to qualify for the Asia Cup and take on the Test-playing nations before heading home for a well-earned rest,” Johnson was quoted as saying by ICC.
2022 Asia Cup Qualifier schedule:
August 20 – Singapore v Hong Kong
August 21 – United Arab Emirates v Kuwait
August 22 – United Arab Emirates v Singapore
August 23 – Kuwait v Hong Kong
August 24 – Singapore v Kuwait
August 24 – Hong Kong v United Arab Emirates
Hong Kong: Nizakat Khan (c), Kinchit Shah, Zeeshan Ali, Haroon Arshad, Babar Hayat, Aftab Hussain, Ateeq Iqbal, Aizaz Khan, Ehsan Khan, Scott McKechnie, Ghazanfar Mohammad, Yasim Murtaza, Dhananjay Rao, Wajid Shah, Ayush Shukla, Ahan Trivedi, Mohammad Waheed
Kuwait: Mohammed Aslam (c), Nawaf Ahmed, Mohammad Amin, Meet Bhavsar, Adnan Idrees, Muhammad Kashif, Shiraz Khan, Sayed Monib, Usman Patel, Yasin Patel, Shahrukh Quddus, Ravija Sandaruwan, Mohamed Shafeeq, Haroon Shahid, Edson Silva, Bilal Tahir, Ali Zaheer
Singapore and UAE are yet to name their squads.
(Inputs from IANS)