India is all set to host the Asia Cup in 2010, a year before it co-hosts the 2011 World Cup, a top Asian Cricket Council (ACC) official said.
“We go by a system of rotation. So after Pakistan hosts the Asia Cup in 2008, it will be India’s turn and then Bangladesh’s (in 2012),” ACC chief executive officer Syed Ashraful Huq said.
The rotation is among the continent’s four Test playing nations. Sri Lanka is the fourth country and is likely to host the biennial tournament in 2014. The four countries will also host the World Cup in 2011.
Huq said the 2008 Asia Cup, which was postponed several times, would definitely take place in Pakistan in April-May.
“The Asia Cup in Pakistan starts April 23 and ends May 4. The Indian team will not be touring Pakistan during that time,” said Huq, a Bangladeshi now based at ACC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Huq said the tournament had to be postponed earlier because there was no permanent slot for it.
“We had gaps in the Asia Cup because the Future Tour Programme (FTP) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) did not have this tournament slotted in a particular time,” he reasoned.
“But the next one in 2008 and those in 2010, 2012 and 2014 are already slotted in FTP. They will be held in those years itself. The Afro-Asia Cup of 2007 and 2008 is also in the FTP,” he said.
Huq, a former cricketer, disclosed that the ACC was in the process of packaging and selling the rights of the future Asia Cup tournaments.
“We have sold the rights for the 2008 Asia Cup. We will bundle the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Asia Cup tournaments. Let the event of 2007 (Afro-Asia Cup in India] be over then we will bundle it and sell it,” he said.
Huq added that the ACC was now a financially strong body, thanks largely to the handsome annual grant from the ICC.
“We are a strong body. ICC gives us $3.3 million a year for doing development work in the non-Test playing countries,” he said.
The ACC along with the Africa Cricket Association also organises the Afro-Asia Cup. The second edition of the tournament will be held in Chennai next month.