Nepal's very presence at this Asia Cup is validation of their rise as a cricketing force. They got here by winning the ten-team ACC Men's Premier Cup in April-May, clinching the title ahead of teams such as UAE and Hong Kong, who have featured in past Asia Cups. Before that, they put together a run of 11 wins in 12 ODIs to rise improbably up the ODI World Cup League 2 table and seal a spot in the ODI World Cup qualifier.
Having only gained ODI status in 2018, Nepal are now ranked a tantalising 15th in the format, a sign of how close they are to achieving even bigger dreams given that the next ODI World Cup, in 2027, will feature 14 teams.
Pakistan, meanwhile, are playing what is likely to be one of just two home games in a tournament they are technically hosting. Such are the times we live in. Fans in Multan, then, would be well advised to brave the temperatures (the forecast is for a maximum of 38-degrees Celsius) and catch this rare glimpse of their heroes.