India and Pakistan last played in the ICC Champions Trophy final in June last year
India and Pakistan last played in the ICC Champions Trophy final in June last year

Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones reckons that with the kind of fitness current crop of cricketers have, there it should no be a problem for India to play back-to-back matches in the upcoming 2018 Asia Cup.

The tournament, set to begin on September 15 in the UAE, will see India take on Pakistan on September 19. However, the problem is that India do not have a rest day in between as they play qualifier on September 18. Pakistan, on the other hand play their previous game on  September 16 which gives them two days gap to prepare for the big game.

As reported earlier, a BCCI official had called the scheduling mindless, while Virender Sehwag called for the boycott of the tournament in view of the tight schedule.

However, Jones sees no problem with the Asia Cup schedule.

“We used to play a lot of back-to-back one-day matches in our time, so why are the players complaining now? They play five-day Test matches. I remember on an England tour, we played 11 days in a row three times. I know it’s a bit warm, but that’s why they get the big bucks these days,” Jones told IANS.

The 57-year-old also went on to state that even though fatigue might come in to play, but ‘No one will die’.

“I have got no problem (in India playing two days consistently). Fatigue might be a problem, but these guys are athletes and unbelievably fit. They will be fine. I could say this, no one will die.”

India and Pakistan are placed in Group A along with a qualifier while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are in Group B. The one qualifier spot is yet to be decided amongst UAE, Singapore, Oman, Nepal, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Asia Cup 2018 full schedule

Group Stage

15 September – Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka (Dubai)

16 September – Pakistan vs Qualifier (Dubai)

17 September – Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)

18 September – India vs Qualifier (Dubai)

19 September – India vs Pakistan (Dubai)

20 September – Bangladesh vs Afghanistan (Abu Dhabi)

Super Four

21 September – Group A Winner vs Group B Runner-up (Dubai)

21 September – Group B Winner vs Group A Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)

23 September – Group A Winner vs Group A Runner-up (Dubai)

23 September – Group B Winner vs Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)

25 September – Group A Winner vs Group B Winner (Dubai)

26 September – Group A Runner-up vs Group B Runner-up (Abu Dhabi)

Final

28 September – Asia Cup 2018 Final (Dubai)