The Asian Cricket Council has revealed the schedule of the much-awaited Asia Cup 2018. The tournament will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates and is scheduled to run from September 15, 2018, till September 28, 2018. The tournament opener will be played between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Dubai on September 15.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan will clash on September 19, 2018, in Dubai. India will be going into this tournament as the defending champions, having won the 2016 Asia Cup T20 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The 50-overs Asia Cup was last played back in 2014 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had won it.

India was originally named as the hosts of this year's Asia Cup, but considering the current political scenario between the neighboring countries India and Pakistan, the decision of moving the tournament officially to UAE was taken by ACC earlier this year.

According to the Espncricinfo, the Emirates Cricket Board will lend out the stadiums while India will act as the "official" host.

The Asian Cricket Council has chosen the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi as the two venues for the tournament.

Six teams will be taking part in the Asia Cup 2018: India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the winner of a qualifying round which will be held in India ahead of the main event early September.

There will be another set of six teams namely Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, and UAE, who will be battling it out in the qualifying round for that one spot in the main event.

Check out the schedule

50-overs cricket returns to the Asia Cup

The 2018 tournament will be played in the ODI format, unlike the previous edition of the Asia Cup in 2016, which was played in the T20I format.

This decision was made keeping in mind the 50-overs World Cup in England, which is less than a year to go. In fact, all the five teams who have made it directly into the tournament's main round, have also qualified for the World Cup next year.

The six teams in the main tournament have been divided into two groups, Group A consisting of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan while Group B consisting of the Qualifier alongside arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super Four stage, which will be played in a round-robin method. Finally, the top two teams will meet in the Final on September 28 at the Dubai International Stadium.