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Pakistan to host Asia Cup in 2008

Originally slated for February 2006 in Pakistan, the biennial event had been postponed due to India's hectic international schedules.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 12:44 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

The Asia Cup had been postponed for another two years as hectic international cricket schedules did not allow the biennial event to be held in Pakistan this year, the Asian Cricket Council said on Sunday.

"It was sad that the ninth Asia Cup had to be postponed but the executive board meeting has agreed to host the event in the second week of April in 2008," ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq said.

The six-nation limited-overs tournament was originally scheduled for February 2006 in Pakistan but was put off at India's request to enable their players to rest between two important series against Pakistan and England.

India finished their tour of Pakistan in February and was due to stay for the Asia Cup before hosting England.

"We honoured India's request despite suffering financial losses but we hope the event will now be held regularly," he said.

Defending champions Sri Lanka along with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and Oman will take part in the Asia Cup 2008.

Pakistan has never hosted the event due to political tensions with India but had been given the hosting rights after both countries resumed their bilateral cricketing ties in 2004.

Sri Lanka hosted the last edition of the Asia Cup two years ago.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will decide the exact dates of the events soon, said Huq.

The meeting was presided over by the ACC's vice president Jaikumar Nath Shah as ACC incumbent president Sharad Pawar could not attend the meeting because of his involvement in the budget session in New Delhi, said Huq.

Huq said the second edition of the Afro-Asia Cup would be held in Africa in June next year.

"It was Asia's turn to host the Afro-Asia Cup and we had only one window to host the event in India and that was in September this year but India was not willing to host the event," said Huq.

Huq said Asia's turn to host the bi-continental event will come in September 2008.

"We might host the event either in Malaysia or in Singapore as cricket is gaining popularity in these countries," Huq said, adding that the budget for development of the game in new countries was also approved.

"The development budget was also approved and we have special emphasis on the development of the game in new countries like Singapore, China, Hong Kong and with a very keen eye on Afghanistan," said Huq.

"The ACC has planned a lot of things for the development of the game in Afghanistan and hope that these will bear fruits."

First Published: May 22, 2006 12:44 IST