Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Asia Cup Confusion ...

The Asia Cup 2022, scheduled to kick-off on 27th August in Dubai, was originally to be hosted in Sri Lanka. However, due to the many issues in the island, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board decided to host it in the UAE.

While it was being speculated for a while that the tournament will take place in the UAE, the official announcement came on 28 July.

Soon after, the ACC released the following schedule.


Everyone's focus was on 28 August! Pakistan and India to meet again in Dubai, the same venue where Pakistan romped to a 10 wicket demolition job less than a year ago during the T20 World Cup.

Those who paid a little more attention realized that the match on 4 September would also be Pakistan vs India, barring the littlest of chances that a qualifier, who we now know is Hong Kong, goes ahead to the Super Fours, instead of Pakistan or India.

The wait for the tickets was a never ending one.

There was no news anywhere about when the tickets would launch. Everyone had an idea that they would launch on Platinum List, but no idea when.

The launch of hospitality packages by Dnata and some other tour and travel operators threw some people off and news of tickets being launched spread like wildfire.

But no, match tickets were not available. Only travel packages (flight and hotel) with tickets were.

On 11 August, Platinum List posted the following on their Instagram page.


The tickets were coming soon, but still there was no date announced!

On 13 August, Khaleej Times broke the news that the ACC has announced that Asia Cup tickets will be released on 15 August!

Finally the tickets were going on sale, less than 2 weeks before the Asia Cup!

But there was still no announcement from Platinum List who had asked everyone to follow their Instagram page to know when tickets go on sale.

As the clock hit midnight and the date changed to 15 August on Sunday night, Whatsapp groups went frantic with the news that Platinum List had launched the tickets and that there was a massive queue online.

We all logged on to Platinum List and found ourselves in a queue with a wait time of more than an hour.

Once the wait time ended, nothing happened, and the site crashed.

There were no tickets.

Just millions of fans in the UAE and the subcontinent logging on to Platinum List looking for tickets that had not been launched. 

Come Monday afternoon on 15 August, and Platinum List posted this on their Instagram page.


6:00PM! Everyone was ready!

At 6PM began the usual practice of queues, wait times, errors when making payments, payment not going through, to finally payments going through and tickets being purchased successfully.

We managed to get the tickets we wanted. 

But there was one problem that was bugging me.

For the 7th September match between A2 and B2, Platinum List was selling tickets for Sharjah.

The original schedule released by ACC (scroll up) had that match scheduled in Dubai.

I checked cricket's most trusted website, cricinfo, and even their schedule showed the match was to be played in Dubai. 

I checked ACC's website, and there it showed Dubai also.

Check these sites now and you will see the same now as well. Dubai.

Clearly the organizers, i.e. SLC / ACC, told Platinum List that the 7th September match is scheduled for Sharjah but no one seemed to communicate this to other platforms.

And I am not really sure why the other platforms have not changed this in their schedules despite the information being out there since 15 August.

Now I was under another dilemma.

The tournament format said the top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super Four stage where each team will play the other three.

With the 7 September Super Four game between A2 and B2 scheduled for Sharjah, does this mean that the A1, A2, B1, B2 seedings were predetermined?

Only for the simple reason that India does not play in Sharjah. 

Which meant that India cannot be A2 under any circumstance.

To me this meant that no matter in which position India qualified to the Super Four, they would be A1 and the other team, i.e. Pakistan, would be A2.

But this information was no where. 

Not on the ACC website. Not on Cricinfo. Not on any cricket website or forum. I kept searching, I kept asking, but no one gave me a satisfactory answer.

Except for one senior editor at Cricinfo, who agreed that A1, A2, etc. were pre determined.

It made sense also as this practice is decades old and used in World Cups where there have been Super 6 ad Super 8 rounds.

But still there was no clarity on why no platform was reporting that the 7 September match was in Sharjah and why there was no information on A1, A2, B1, B2.

Till this morning!

Finally, the ACC released a schedule that showed that the 7 September match was to be played in Sharjah, and also explained which teams would be A1 and B1.

Here you go.


Finally, some official clarity!

Why did it take so long to get this out, I don't know.

For some of us, it was clear when the tickets launched on Platinum List, given the prices of the tickets.

But such information should be made public as soon as tickets go on sale to make it clearer for fans and ticket buyers.

Despite this confirmation, websites are still reporting that on 7 September there is an Asia Cup match in Dubai, and one can't find this clarity regarding India being A1 anywhere else.

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