The 2018 Asia Cup promises a lot of excitement as five teams will contest for the title. Although India will miss rested Virat Kohli, the team packs a lot of punch with Rohit Sharma as the skipper. Pakistan are a strong limited-overs team, while Bangladesh can extremely competitive with bat and ball. Afghanistan can spring a surprise or two in the tournament. Here are some facts you probably did not know of Asia Cup.
The first edition of Asia Cup in 1984 was a round-robin tournament featuring India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Teams with most victories won the tournament. India won the tournament with two victories, while Sri Lanka were runners-up with one win.
India did not take part in second edition of Asia Cup in 1986 due to soured cricketing relations with Sri Lanka. The islanders won the tournament, beating Pakistan in the final by 5 wickets.
Bangladesh hosted a multi-nation tournament for the first time at their home in the third edition of Asia Cup in 1988. India won the tournament.
Till 2000, India qualified for the final in all the five Asia Cups they participated in. In 2000 Asia Cup, they failed to make it to the title round. Pakistan won their maiden Asia Cup in 2000 edition, beating Sri Lanka in the final.
Bangladesh qualified for the final of Asia Cup for the first time in 2012 edition. Bangladesh had beaten Sri Lanka and India to qualify for the final. Bangladesh lost narrowly by 2 runs to Pakistan in the final.
In the 2012 edition, Sachin Tendulkar cracked his 100th international ton. It went in vain as Bangladesh defeated India.
In the same tournament, Virat Kohli cracked a majestic 183 to help India beat Pakistan. It turned out to be the last ODI for Sachin Tendulkar.
Since the 2016 edition, Asia Cups are held on rotation basis in the ODIs and T20Is format, in tune with the format of the upcoming World Cup. The 2016 Asia Cup was in T20 format due to T20 World Cup that year.
Only 4 times out of 14 a host nation has won the Asia Cup. Sri Lanka have done it three times, India once. Since the 2008 edition, no host nation has won the Asia Cup.
The 2018 edition of Asia Cup was supposed to be held in India but it has to be scheduled at UAE due to the political tension between India and Pakistan.
The next edition of Asia Cup in 2020 will held in T20 format due to the 2020 World T20 in Australia.
Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan topped the batting and bowling charts in Asia Cup in the ODI formats. Jayasuriya has scored 1220 runs, Muralitharan has taken 30 wickets in ODIs Asia Cup.