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India-Pakistan Asia Cup Showdown Gets Reserve Day Amidst Weather Concerns

In an unprecedented move, Asia Cup organisers announced on Friday the inclusion of a reserve day for the much-anticipated face-off between cricketing giants, Pakistan and India. The decision comes in light of their first match at the tournament being disrupted by rain.


The two fierce rivals are poised to meet on Sunday in Colombo. However, forecasts predict thundery showers over the weekend in the Sri Lankan capital, threatening another potential washout.


In a statement released by the organising committee, it was clarified, "If adverse weather interrupts the Pak vs India match, it will resume on 11th September 2023 from where it was halted."


This sudden pivot in scheduling raised eyebrows, as the Pakistan-India match is the sole fixture in the Super Four stage granted a reserve day. Coaches from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the other contenders in the round, voiced their concerns. Chris Silverwood, Sri Lanka’s coach, expressed his surprise, remarking, "While it's beyond our control, the distribution of points could become contentious if the reserve day comes into play."


Echoing these sentiments, Bangladesh's coach, Chandika Hathurusingha stated, "It’s unusual. An extra day for all teams would have been ideal."


Last week, a promising group match between the subcontinental titans concluded inconclusively at Pallekele. Rain played spoilsport after India set a target of 266 runs.


The decision also sparked reactions from cricketing legends across the border. Sunil Gavaskar and Harbhajan Singh weighed in, highlighting the unpredictability of the Colombo weather. Harbhajan humorously hinted at switching to "swimming competitions in Colombo now, not cricket."


Journalist Vikrant Gupta criticized the hurried decision, noting, “Such a major tournament should ideally have a reserve day for all Super 4 matches, not just the Indo-Pak fixture.”


As the cricketing world waits with bated breath for the September 10th duel at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, the board has urged ticket holders to hold onto their passes, which will be valid for the reserve day if the need arises.

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