The ever so vocal batting legend Virendra Sehwag has yet again made a bold statement regarding the tight scheduling of this year’s Asia’s Cup.
The tournament which begins from the 15th of September is to be hosted at the United Arab Emirates for the very first time, and team India have shockingly been scheduled to play two ODIs on September 18 as well as 19.
Sehwag agitated by the decision made by the board decided to have a say of his own. "I am really shocked to see the scheduling because which country plays back-to-back cricket matches these days? There was a gap of two days in between the T20 matches in England and here you are playing ODIs under hot Dubai weather and that too without a break. So, I don't think this is a correct scheduling," Sehwag said.
"Why there's such hue and cry over playing the Asia Cup? Don't play the Asia Cup. Prepare the team for the home series or the away series. It's really difficult to play back-to-back games," he added.
Viru spoke in defense of the players who need adequate rest and training of at least a couple of days before getting back on the field, as it could lead them to vital injuries.
"There shouldn't be any back-to-back games. If the BCCI had to cancel anything then it should have been the qualifier game in the Asia Cup rather than reducing the four-day practice match against Essex to three days. A player needs at least 48 hours to recover after playing an ODI match because you field for 3.5 hours and after that if you bat for 2 hours then it makes your total time spend on the ground to 5.5 hours. So, it takes a minimum of 24 to 48 hours for a player to recover," he exclaimed.
The only Indian to score two triple hundreds in Test cricket also stated that playing matches on consecutive days would give their opponents an edge over them, and in this case he talks about Pakistan, since India square off with them on the 19th of September, right after their first game against a yet to be decided team (as per qualification)
"When Team India will play the Asia Cup in Dubai in September, there will be too much heat and it will hamper the players' recovery process. Pakistan will be in a good shape whereas the Indian players will be tired. And if we end up losing the match, then there might be a problem as we all are very passionate whenever we play against Pakistan. We always want India to win against Pakistan but if the Indian players are tired then Pakistan will definitely have the advantage," he said.
The routine 50 over format in Asia cup will return after it being a T20 last year. India is the current holders of the Asia Cup and would be looking to keep it that way this year.
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Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.