New Delhi: Moves are afoot to revive the Asia Cup Limited Overs tournament, which was grounded after India severed cricketing links with Pakistan, officials said on Thursday.
The money-spinning event, held every two years to determine the continent's One-day champions, has not taken place since May, 2000 when Bangladesh was the host. The 2002 event, due to be played in Pakistan, was cancelled after the Indian government refused to send a team across the border in protest at what it calls Islamabad's support to militancy in Kashmir. Asian cricket officials told they were working on holding the tournament in April next year, but ruled out Pakistan being the hosts. "Pakistan has itself agreed to shift the tournament out of the country in the interests of the game in the region," an official said. "We are considering other venues like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. "The idea is to have it soon after the World Cup ends in South Africa in March." The Asia Cup features the region's big three - India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - besides Test minnows Bangladesh. The next edition will have two more teams - the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong - who qualified as the top two among the non-Test playing nations in Asia. The revival of the Asia Cup will be good news for both the UAE and Hong Kong, whose cricket associations stand to gain around $ 250,000 as appearance fee from the Asian Cricket Council. The Indian government still refuses to have bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan, but does not object to playing against their neighbours in multi-nation events like the World Cup or Asia Cup. India will play Pakistan in the league stage of the World Cup, its first meeting since the Asia Cup clash in Dhaka in 2000. But a scheduled Test tour of Pakistan by the Indian team in April is likely to fall through unless the government reverses its current stand.
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