Asia Cup 2018: Mashrafe Mortaza lashes out at ‘disappointing’ schedulehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/asia-cup-2018-fixtures-schedule-mashrafe-mortaza-5365126/

Asia Cup 2018: Mashrafe Mortaza lashes out at ‘disappointing’ schedule

Bangladesh, who play Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, will need to travel to Dubai for the fixture against India in the Super Fours. 

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Mashrafe Mortaza has lashed out at the Asia Cup schedule for the Super Fours. (Source: File)

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has lashed out at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for their scheduling of the Super Four leg of matches in the ongoing Asia Cup. The fixtures released will see Bangladesh play back-to-back matches. (Asia Cup schedule)

With two group matches yet to be played, ACC released the schedule for the Super Four with the top two teams from Group A and Group B yet to be ascertained. As per schedule, it was supposed to be A1 vs B2 and A2 vs B1 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively. The revised schedule, announced after India’s win over Hong Kong, will see India play all their matches in Dubai irrespective of the other teams’ positions in the groups. Sri Lanka’s losses to Bangladesh and Afghanistan resulted in the need of the fixture switch with both the sides yet to play each other.

As per the schedule for the Super Four’s, India and Pakistan will play bangladesh and Afghanistan, respectively, on Friday to get things underway. This means Bangladesh, who play Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, needing to travel to Dubai for the fixture against India.

“It is very disappointing,” Mashrafe said on Wednesday. “Basically what has happened is that we were made the second team in Group B even before we played the last game.”We came here with a plan. We would play Sri Lanka first and if we won and played well we would be group champions and play the runners-up of Group A. But this morning we heard that we are already Group B runners-up regardless of whether we win or lose tomorrow. So of course it is disappointing.

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“It is an international match where we are representing our nation, so of course it’s important. But whether you are talking about group stage matches or Super Four matches, there are certain rules within which they operate. We are getting away from the rules, so it’s disappointing,” he said.

Earlier, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed also criticised the Asia Cup schedule and stated it was in India’s favour. “Yes surely [a disadvantage]. Even if India lose all their games, they will be here. Travelling is the sort of issue, if during matches you’ve to travel for 1 and a half hours, then it’s difficult for you. In this weather if you travel, and after a day if you’ve play a game….I believe things should be even for all teams, whether that’s India, Pakistan or anyone else.

“If matches are played in Abu Dhabi, then all teams must play a game or two there. Now I don’t know what conduct ACC have made regarding this,” he added.