ACC unlikely to organise next Asia Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The crammed international calender is casting a shadow on the future of Asia Cup with the ACC finding it difficult to host the event on a regularly.

Updated: June 29, 2008 18:14 IST
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The crammed international calender is casting a shadow on the future of Asia Cup with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) finding it difficult to host the continental event on a regular basis.

Ashraful Haq, the ACC chief executive said on Thursday that he was not sure when the next Asia Cup would be held.

"To be honest it is difficult to say or chalk out a schedule. It is difficult to find even a two-week period in the international calendar to fit in a One-day tournament," Haq said.

The Asia Cup tournament was launched in 1983-84 from Sharjah but since then only nine editions have been held due to different reasons, including the political turmoil between Pakistan and India.

Pakistan is presently hosting the ninth edition of the tournament after it was last held in 2004 in Sri Lanka.

Haq said the reason behind the four year gap was the non-availability of all teams because of their prior commitments.

"Pakistan and India in particular find it hard to take out time in a packed calendar," he added.

He said this was also the reason why there were no plans to launch any Asian Twenty20 championship.

However, Haq hailed the inclusion of cricket as a discipline in the 2010 Asian Games in China as a positive advancement.

"Hopefully that would be a big step forward for Asian cricket because we need funds to push development projects among associate member nations," Haq said.

Associate members, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates are taking part in the Asia Cup in Pakistan and each will get around $300,000 appearance fees.

"This is a big amount for them plus we will also pay around $100,000 development funds to the remaining 16 associate nations including Afghanistan, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, China," he said.

Haq was hopeful of the future of the game in China insisting that interest in the sport was increasing there and with more government interest, cricket would become a followed sport in the country.

The ACC is also going to have its annual AGM during the Asia Cup in Karachi and a special function to celebrate its silver jubilee celebrations.

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