Asia~~s elite cricketers to clash with Africa~~s best

Published: Monday, June 27, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Asia's elite cricketers will clash against Africa's best in three One-day matches to be played in South Africa in August, sources said.

The August 15-21 event has been promoted by cricket administrators of the two continents under the banner of the newly-formed Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation (AACC).

A formal announcement on the venues and team compositions will be made in London this week on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sources said on Monday.

The ICC has been approached to grant official status to the series which will be played annually, alternating between venues in Asia and Africa.

The seriousness with which the event is being taken can be gauged by Sri Lanka's willingness to advance the dates of an official tri-series against the West Indies and India from August 1-14 to July 30-August 9 to accommodate the new venture.

"Asia versus Africa will be attractive not only for fans but also television and sponsors," an Indian official said.

"Spectacular batsmen like Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, Virender Sehwag of India and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka will play for the same side.

"Then there will be Muttiah Muralitharan (of Sri Lanka) and India's Anil Kumble bowling together. It will be a feast for the eyes."

While Asia's players will be drawn from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the African team will comprise cricketers mainly from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

If the matches are granted official status -- meaning runs scored and wickets taken are entered into the record books -- it will be another move by administrators to break away from cricket's traditional contests between national teams.

The ICC is organising a super series of one Test and three One-day matches between the sport's best nation, Australia, against the Rest of World in October. Those matches have also been officially recognised.

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