Mohammad Ashraful names the strongest contender in the 2018 Asia Cup

Mohammad Ashraful names the strongest contender in the 2018 Asia Cup

"Every participant of Asia Cup is strong."

Mohammad Ashraful
Mohammad Ashraful of Bangladesh. (Photo by Graham Crouch/Getty Images)

The biggest cricketing festival of Asia, the Asia Cup is just around the corner. The event is all set to be played from 15 to 28 September in the UAE. All of the top Asian cricket playing countries are gearing up for the prestigious event. In the opening day of the tournament, Bangladesh will take on five-times-winner Sri Lanka. A total of six teams will play in this year’s 50-over event.

Along with all five Test-playing nations of Asia, Hong Kong will also join to fight for the crown in the extravaganza. They recently won the qualifier of the tournament in Kuala Lumpur. This six teams will head into the tournament,  being divided by two groups. In Group A, defending champions India will play their group match against arch-rival Pakistan and later against Hong Kong.

Pakistan will be a little ahead of others

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful mentioned Pakistan as the most strong contender of the tournament during a practice session ahead of Bangladesh’s National Cricket League. “Every participant of Asia Cup is strong. Anyone can beat any team in their day. But I would say that Pakistan will be the strongest claimant of the tournament. Because UAE is their home venue.

They are playing in that condition for a long time now. I think not only for a condition that they are familiar to, Pakistan is a strong contender of Asia Cup for their good cricket too,” Ashraful said on Wednesday during an interview with the reporters.

Despite naming Pakistan as his favourite, Ashraful did not forget to talk about Bangladesh’s chances in the tournament. After scoring 11.4 in a beep Test ahead of the domestic session, he quoted, “The first match is most important for Bangladesh team.

They will get the momentum if they can beat Sri Lanka, and thus the Afghanistan-match can be an easy affair for them. We have played Asia Cup final twice, but could not win even once. I think this time around, we can hope for something big.”

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