Asia Cup officials play down security concerns in Bangladesh
Asia Cup organisers are confident that this year's competition will go ahead despite security concerns in Bangladesh.
Last Updated: 16/01/14 5:37pm
Tournament officials unveiled the schedule for the five-team event, which starts with defending champions Pakistan taking on Sri Lanka in Fatullah on February 25.
Host nation Bangladesh has been hit by violent political protests in recent weeks, prompting reports that the International Cricket Council were considering alternative venues for the World Twenty20 in March and April.
But the Asian Cricket Council have insisted that the Asia Cup will go ahead even if one of the teams pulls out of the tournament on safety grounds.
ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq said: "Even if one team does not come, the tournament will go ahead. But I am sure they will all be here."
The ICC board will meet in Dhaka in January 20 to discuss security arrangements for the World Twenty20, and whether Bangladesh will be safe enough to host the event.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to begin their tour of Bangladesh on January 27, and Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga played down concerns over the team's safety.
"We are very positive about playing in Bangladesh," Ranatunga said. "We look forward to playing there."
Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury insisted the country would stage a successful Asia Cup for the second time, having previously hosted the tournament in 2012.
"Cricket unites Bangladesh like nothing else," he said. "The event comes at a very busy juncture for us. The World Twenty20 is only two months away, while Sri Lanka will be arriving in just over a week's time.
"This is a huge challenge for the BCB from an organisational perspective but I am confident that our dedicated work force will be up to it."
Asia Cup schedule:
February 25 - Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Fatullah
February 26 - Bangladesh v India, Fatullah
February 27 - Afghanistan v Pakistan, Fatullah
February 28 - India v Sri Lanka, Fatullah
March 1 - Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Fatullah
March 2 - India v Pakistan, Dhaka
March 3 - Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Dhaka
March 4 - Bangladesh v Pakistan, Dhaka
March 5 - Afghanistan v India, Dhaka
March 6 - Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Dhaka
March 8 - Final, Dhaka