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Desert heat may dehydrate cricketers

  • Published at 09:23 pm September 13th, 2018
Dubai
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Hong Kong will take part in the Asia Cup that will start Saturday in the two Middle Eastern cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Dhaka Tribune/Minhaz Uddin Khan

The temperature starts to soar at around 10 in the morning and by the afternoon the warmth gets unbearable even for the city dwellers, let alone the cricketers

Cricketing giants of Asia are getting ready for the battle of the continental supremacy but not only the opponents they also have to confront another huge obstacle - scorching sun and the infamous Middle Eastern heat.

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Hong Kong will take part in the Asia Cup that will start Saturday in the two Middle Eastern cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

For cricket romantics, Sharjah, which is just 29.4kms away from Dubai, is a nostalgic name with many unforgettable memories to cherish but the climate of that area always posed an extra hurdle for the players to surmount. 

The glory days of Sharjah, once the venue to host most number of ODIs, have faded a little bit but the Pakistan Cricket Board is using different venues of the UAE as their home venue since the other nations boycotted touring Pakistan following a bomb attack in 2009. 

Apart from the international matches, PCB also hosts the Pakistan Super League T20 in the UAE but the ideal weather for staging cricket matches in the desert country is from late October to early March. However, some unintended consequences forced the Asian Cricket Council to host the important tournament during the odd season. 

The Asia Cup was supposed to be held in India but due to some unavoidable issues like the problem of hosting Pakistan compelled the authority to change the host country.  

Several players of different teams expressed their concern over playing under the difficult conditions. The temperature starts to soar at around 10 in the morning and by the afternoon the warmth gets unbearable even for the city dwellers, let alone the cricketers.

Thursday, at around 2pm the temperature rose to 42-degree Celsius mark and the matches of the Asia Cup are scheduled to start from 3pm. 

The players have been instructed to intake enough water in order to avoid dehydration and practice sessions are designed in such a way that players are practising either in the morning or in the afternoon. 

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal believes the heat will be a major factor for all the teams and said cricket is not played during this time at this part of the world. 

"I think the heat will be a major factor. It is likely to turn into a mental game. When you play in high temperature, the batsman, who has played 60-70 balls, will feel tired and is prone to a mistake. If he can take a good decision in that weak moment, it will become his advantage," said Tamim to reporters at the Tigers’ team hotel in Dubai Thursday.

"We have to be mentally strong to handle this heat. Normally we don't play cricket in this weather; we do play in the heat in Bangladesh but this is something different. We hope to be a mentally stronger team," the left-handed batsman added.

Tamim has got some experience playing in the UAE conditions as he took part in several PSL T20 tournaments, yet the southpaw thinks dealing with the temperature will be a daunting task in the tournament. 

"It has a different venue and format. It is also probably their winter (when we play PSL here). The weather (during that time) is great, and the format is 20 overs," said Tamim.

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