COLOMBO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Afghanistan will be the fifth team in this year’s Asia Cup and Bangladesh will remain the host of the tournament despite political turmoil in the country, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) said on Saturday.
A total of 11 games will be played in the Feb 25 - Mar 8 tournament also featuring Sri Lanka, India, defending champions Pakistan, and hosts Bangladesh.
“It will be held in Bangladesh as scheduled and Afghanistan has been added as the fifth team,” ACC chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq told Reuters.
“They (Afghanistan) have got the ODI (One Day International) status. They are playing in 2015 World Cup and they are playing the Twenty20 World Cup this year. This is to give them encouragement, experience, and exposure.”
Afghanistan will play their first 50-over World Cup in 2015 in New Zealand and Australia after they beat Kenya to finish second in the World Cricket League championship in October last year.
Violence continues in Bangladesh and nearly 60 polling stations were set on fire and three people were killed on the eve of Sunday’s election.
Pakistan are still to commit to the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh in March and will consult their government about sending a team. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)