Articles

Asia Cup 2022 and It‘s New Heroes

by Deepanshu Srivastava

Asia Cup – 2022 got over on September 11 with the final match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka after its commencement getting postponed thrice – firstly in October 2020, secondly in June 2021, and then in October 2021. The reasons were – the spread of the pandemic from 2020 and then political unrest and economical crisis in Sri Lanka. Finally, it could start on August 27th and conclude on September 11th and was played on the two grounds of Sharjah and Dubai. A natural question arises in the minds of sports lovers why there is only the Asia Cup, although there are seven continents in the globe? The answer is simple. Asia is the only continent where there is a number of international cricketing teams needed to conduct a proper tournament. This year in 2022 10 International cricketing teams was ready to participate. However, the tournament was held between six teams – five teams being ICC recognized test-sides, while Hong Kong from the remaining 04 teams got its entry based on coming on the top in the matches played amongst five non-test sides (called Qualifiers). The six teams were divided into two groups of three teams each, out of which the top two teams from both groups qualified for the final. Team India, although entered the Super – 4 but could not reach the final after losing two consecutivematches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and thus team India was shown the door.Interestingly, team India has won the Asia Cup for the maximum number of times (7) out of 14 editions of the tournament followed by Sri Lanka (5 times) and Pakistan (2 times). 2012 Asia Cup was memorable for the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar as he reached the landmark of completing his 100th international century. That match was played with Bangladesh.Before 2016, Asia Cup was being played in the ODI format of 50 overs. Then after, due to the lukewarm response of the sports lovers to watch the matches of 50 overs, ICC decided to host the Asia Cup in the T 20 format.Most of us remain unaware of the magical talents possessed by upcoming players outside India in their cricketing skills. In this write-up, we will get to know the talents of players who excelled consistently in this year’s Asia Cup.#. NEW HEROES OF THE ASIA CUP: –( i ) Bhanuka Rajapaksa: – The bulky -batter from Sri Lanka was instrumental in registering Sri Lanka’s victory over Pakistan in the final. In that match, he smashed 71* runs in just 45 balls. More importantly, he came out to bat when Sri Lanka was reeling at 76 / 3 in the Powerplay itself. He architected Sri Lanka’s win in the final by getting two partnerships of 58 runs and 44 runs with two Sri Lankan batters – Hasaranga and Karunaratne. For his superb batting talent in this match, he was awarded – ” Player Of The Match “. His performance was consistent throughout the tournament with an average of 38. 20 by amassing 191 runs in the total 06 matches that Sri Lanka played in the tournament.( ii ). Pramod Madhushan: – The 28-year-old right-arm medium pacer Pramod debuted for Sri Lanka in thesecond last match of the Asia Cup. In the first match played against Pakistan in the Super – 4, he claimed the prize wicket of Md. Rizwan gave Pakistan a shock. He finished with the figures of 2/21 in 2 . 2 overs but the miracle was yet to come from him. He broke the nerves of the Pakistan batting line-up when he claimed the versatile Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and it’s another batter, Fakhar Zaman for ducks. He also claimed the important wickets of Iftikhar Ahmed ( 32 ) and Naseem Shah ( 04 ). He finished his deadly bowling – spell with figures of 4 – 0 – 34 – 4. His superb bowling spell became one of the reasons for Sri Lanka to lift the cup and Sri Lanka has high hopes for this medium-fast speedster.( iii ). Wanindu Hasaranga: – One of the most feared leggies in the international cricket of current times, Hasaranga claimed 09 crucial wickets in all the 06 matches that Sri Lanka played in the Cup. In the final, he smashed 36 runs off 21 balls helping his side for putting up a total of 170/6. For his consistent performance throughout the tournament, he was awarded as the – ” Player Of The Tournament “.( iv ). Pathum Nissanka: – The stylish 24 – year old Sri Lankan opener Nissanka piled up 173 runs with an average of 34. 60. A good smasher of the ball, he scored his half-century (52 runs off 37 balls) in the Super – 4 matches against Team India. His other half-century (55*) came in the Super – 4 match against Pakistan in just 48 deliveries against Pakistan’s s superb bowling attack. This youngster will certainly be an important cricketer for Sri Lanka in the future.( v ). Kusal Mendis: – Sri Lankan team experimented it’s stumper – batter by promoting him to the opening slot from the middle – order. Kusal did – not disappoint the team – management and justified his promotion by scoring a total of 155 runs in the tournament. His 37 – balls 60 runs and 37 – balls 57 runs in the innings played respectively against Bangladesh and India helped his team in advancing in the tournament.( vi ). Naseem Shah: – The 19 year baby of the Pakistan team is certainly a revolution in the pace – bowling arena. Debuting in the Group – stage match against India, he created panic in the Indian camp by dispatching KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav in the Powerplay itself. He picked up 7 wickets in the 5 matches that he played for Pakistan. The best came from him not as a bowler but as a batter when in the crucial match of Pakistan with Afghanistan he hit two consecutive sixes on the first two balls of the 20th over to seal a thrilling victory for his side and paved the way for Pakistan to enter the final. It was these two sixes that shut the door for Team India to enter the final.( vii ). Mohammad Nawaz: – He is known for his bowling skill, but he thrilled the cricket lovers with the bat as well. Seeing his hidden batting talent, he was promoted to the Number 4 position which he fully justified by hitting 42 runs off 20 balls and became the – ” Player Of The Match ” to beat Team India by 05 wickets.( viii ). Shadab Khan: – This 23-year-old leggie became the Hero of the Tournament when he helped Pakistan to register a 155 – run victory. He claimed 4 wickets for Afghanistan by giving away just 8 runs in his spell of 2 . 4 overs. In all, he picked up 8 wickets.Apart from the above players, World Cricket has high hopes from Khushdil Shah (Pakistan) and Fazalhaq Farooqi (Afghanistan).About The Author:

Deepanshu Srivastava, an interpretative journalist, a sports writer, a news enthusiast, and a storyteller is from Pune. He may be reached through: – arunsri5523@rediffmail.com

2 Comments

  1. Dr. VIJENDRA NATH, Ph.D

    Good article on Asia cup cricket tournament 2022. It’s highlighted the history of Asia cup cricket news and brief but in a good way of performances of individual player who gave their best in this tournament.
    Congratulations to the author for bringing such good information on the event.
    My best wishes to the author.

  2. Author’s attempt to touch upon Asian Cricketing Stars othet than Indians is appreciable ;many of us dont know about them.
    This nicely written article is another good piece from the author.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*