The Asia Cup 2018 has begun in Dubai and it’s time to get into the groove once more. Check out some of the early missives from the cricket ground in the middle of the desert.

India are always favourites, but Pakistan are at home in Dubai and the rest aren’t here to make up the numbers

As simple as the flicking of a switch or the changing of channels with the press of a button on your remote, Indian fans will be transported from the relatively cool heat-wave climes of England, where India lost 1-4, to Dubai, where it will be 40 degrees centigrade in the shade, the cricket balls white and kit blue.

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India bring their own net bowlers, but they will only play in Dubai

If you are an Indian living in Abu Dhabi, read this and weep. No matter what happens, the Indian cricket team will not play any of its league games at the magnificent Shaikh Zayed Stadium. The 90-minute commute from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is a bit too much for India’s finest and therefore they will play all their matches in Dubai, where they are staying.

When India play Pakistan it’s called war minus the shooting, but, is it, really?

It does not have the pedigree of the Ashes or the charm of the trans-Tasman rivalry but India v Pakistan is the kind of cricket fixture that the people of two countries that share a contentious, violent and historically bloody border can never ignore. On September 19, this rivalry will be rejoined and the military jargon will be back: war minus the shooting, aman ki asha, cricket diplomacy … The match is a winner for the organisers of any tournament featuring the two teams.