Former India opener Virender Sehwag on Wednesday slammed the poor scheduling of the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which will see defending champions India take on Pakistan in a high-octane clash a day after opening their campaign against a Qualifier. The schedule for the Asia Cup 2018 was announced on Tuesday.
In an exclusive chat with IndiaTV on 'Cricket Ki Baat' show aired this evening, Sehwag said a player needs a minimum of 24-48 hours rest after playing an ODI match.
Sehwag said he was shocked to see the scheduling.
"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 told IndiaTV.
Sehwag said the BCCI should have acted on it rather than reducing India's ongoing four-day tour game against Essex.
"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 added.
The heatwave sweeping across England forced India to reduce the four-dayer against Essex to a three-day contest.
Viru, as he is fondly known as, added that playing back-to-back games will definitely take a toll on the Indian players, giving Pakistan an advantage before the game.
"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.
Sehwag went on to say that if there was a problem with the scheduling then India shouldn't have played the Asia Cup.
"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 concluded.
The tournament, scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 15-28, will see Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka in the opening game in Dubai.
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are all confirmed participants while the remaining spots are still up for grabs amongst UAE, Singapore, Oman, Nepal, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Group A consists of India, Pakistan and the qualifier while Group B comprises Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 4 and two teams will then play the final on 28 September in Dubai.