Kolkata:To promote unity among South Asian nations, a street cricket tournament will be held this year with youths from five countries, including India and Pakistan, participating in the event.
Being organised by TV South Asia, a consortium of private television channels from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the tournament would be based on a popular Pakistani model of street cricket.
"Since cricket is like a thread which binds all these countries together, so we have decided to come up with a new concept of having a street cricket tournament," CEO of TV South Asia Rubana Haq said.
"In our endeavour to give the youth of South Asian countries a common platform to interact, we would soon solicit participation in a south Asian tournament from all corners of India, apart from other countries.
"We will ask our partnering TV channels to begin preliminary rounds in their respective countries in October and select two teams among them to represent their country in the main rounds. The finals would be held in December," she said.
Replicating the hugely popular Ramadan Premier League of Pakistan, the eight-over match tournament would be played at the local grounds in the respective countries.
However, the venue of the main round is yet to be finalised, Rubana added.
Street cricket is played widely all over the Asian sub-continent, although sporting ties among the countries, particularly between India and Pakistan, have been under strain due to the changing political equations.
Revealing their plans to organise a Miss South Asia contest in December, this year, she said: "We have Miss Universe, Miss Earth and Miss Asia-Pacific. But we do not have any beauty pageant for the south Asian neighbours. Having a Miss South Asia would only increase the bonding among us."
TV South Asia, which is broadcast from Kolkata, started operatioms in 2007 as a collaborative channel to reinforce a common cultural identity among South Asia nations.
Bengali news channel Tara News is the Indian partner, while Pakistan's Aaj TV, R Tv from Bangladesh, Image Channel from Nepal and News Ist Online from Sri Lanka are the other partners in the first of its kind venture.
Last month, the channel started beaming into Pakistani houses.
Asked about the channel's area of focus, she said although terrorism, poverty, corruption and political instability might be the issues affecting the region, many positive and developmental stories are also simultaneously happening in the region.