It’s a big match for Pakistan today. The Men in Green are playing yet another final in the Asia Cup that has not been very kind to them since the beginning. Pakistan have been able to inscribe the country’s name on the trophy only twice, while India have been seven-time champions, and Sri Lanka have won it five times.
Known as juggernauts in the Asian continent, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan share 14 Asia Cup titles among them, but it was always Men in Blue and Lankans who have by far remained top guns in the Asia Cup. Of the 14 editions, Pakistan could make it to the finals four times. They won twice and lost twice. The two times they lost the final the opponents were Sri Lanka.
Around the time Asia Cup commenced in 1984, Pakistan were certainly one of the best teams. They had been winning bilateral series, Sharjah Cup, Nehru Cup and went on to win even the coveted World Cup in 1992. Still, they failed to make an impression in Asia Cup. Pakistan finally ended the Asia Cup title drought in 2000 — after struggling for 16 years — as Moin Khan-led team lifted the trophy.
Also read | SL Vs PAK Final Asia Cup: Sri Lanka, Pakistan Eye Well-Contested Asia Cup 2022 Title (Preview)
Pakistan had an opportunity to clinch the Asia Cup title way back in 1986, but they botched it up by giving away a comfortable five-wicket victory to Sri Lanka. The scoreline read similar when the two teams met again in the 2014 Asia Cup summit clash.
Pakistan had pulled out of the 1990 edition of Asia Cup due to strained political relations with India. Although Pakistan hosted the 9th edition of Asia Cup in 2008, they ended up third in the “Super 4s”, giving an edge to India and Sri Lanka, who blocked the top two spots with six points each. Eventually, Lankans emerged triumphant.
Only after 12 years of winning their maiden Asia Cup title, Pakistan could lay hands on the coveted cup again as Misbah-ul-Haq’s men snatched away a nerve-wracking two-run victory against Bangladesh in 2012.
It remains to be seen if Babar Azam’s men can take home the Cup a third time when they lock horns with Sri Lanka in the final showdown Sunday.