PCB keen to host Asia Cup in September 2006

Published: Friday, December 30, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Apprehending legal action, the Pakistan Cricket Board is keen to host the postponed Asia Cup next year in September when all the teams would be available for participation.

The PCB is apparently under pressure to review its stand on the regional competition since the official broadcasters have threatened to sue them for damages.

"The broadcasters have paid nearly half the money as guarantee. If the Asia Cup is not hosted, the ACC and all the four members would be taken to court because the postponement of the Asia Cup was not ACC's decision but a decision taken byIndia and Pakistan," sources in the PCB said.

PCB's Director (Board Operations) Saleem Altaf said a final decision on the hosting of Asia Cup would be taken during the meeting of Asian Cricket Council in New Delhi onJanuary 3 and 4.

"First day is the Finance Committee meeting while on the second day we will discuss about the possiblilty of having the postponed Asia Cup in 2006," he said.

PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan is keen to host the tournament in September but some of the Board officials are not supportive of the idea, saying September would be too hotand the home series against Zimbabwe would also be round the corner.

The Asia Cup was originally slated to be held in February but PCB agreed to scrap the tournament in view of Indian cricket team's tight schedule. The Indians are slated to hostEngland immediately after the conclusion of their tour of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, PCB confirmed it had swapped the venues of first two one-day internationals against India on the advice of Interior Ministry but said rest of the tour schedule wouldremain unaffected.

"The venues of the first two one-dayers have been swapped on the advice of the Interior Ministry in view of Moharram. But rest of the tour schedule and start of the opening match are unaffected," PCB's Director (Board Operations) SaleemAltaf said.

Instead of Peshawar, Rawalpindi will host the first one-dayer on February 6 while Peshawar will stage the second game on February 8.

"We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Board officials that clearly indicates that the tour will start from January 7 while the first one-dayer will be atRawalpindi and the second at Peshawar. So I don't think there should be any more confusion," Altaf said.

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