Indo-Pak thaw raises hopes of Asia Cup: ACC
Published: Thursday, May 8, 2003, 1:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Dhaka: A thaw in ties between India and Pakistan has raised hopes of finally holding the twice-postponed Asia Cup tournament, an ACC official said here Wednesday. "We are hoping to hold the Asia Cup in the first week of April 2004," Syed Ashraful Huq, chief executive of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), told during a stopover in Dhaka on his way to Malaysia. "It may even be held in Pakistan, the original venue, instead of Sri Lanka ... but it all depends on a lot of things. We will also try to organise an ice-breaking match in September this year provided India allows its team to play against Pakistan," said Huq, a former Bangladeshi cricket executive. He also said that India and Pakistan's cricket chiefs Jagmohan Dalmiya and Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia, respectively, met at the weekend on the sidelines of the Asian Cricket Foundation meeting in Dubai. Officials and observers on both sides are optimistic that cricketing ties between India and Pakistan would soon be resumed as diplomatic ties appear to be on the mend. Pakistan last month pulled out of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka after the Indian government refused its team permission to play a scheduled Test series in Pakistan in protest at Islamabad's alleged support of militancy in Kashmir. The Indian team, however, is allowed to play Pakistan in multi-nation events, like the World Cup and Asia Cup. The two sides met in the recent World Cup in South Africa in March.