KATHMANDU, Dec 13: The Asian Cricket Council´s Executive Board Meeting in Dhaka on Sunday has decided to start a series of Men´s A Team, U-19 and Academy Team tournaments from 2011 for the development of associate and affiliate nations like Nepal.
According to the Council´s website, asiancricket.org, the tournaments will include the four Test-playing nations and four qualifiers from among the ACC´s associate and affiliate nations.
A women´s tournament will also be held on the same basis among the Test-playing nations and four others from the ACC region.
“These are exciting times for the cricketers of Asia. They are closer than ever to playing top-flight cricket against the very best and we look forward to the emergence of a number of countries that can compete with the Test-playing nations at youth and A Team level,” said ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq to asiancricket.org.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) President and ACC Vice-president Binay Raj Pandey told Republica that the semifinalists of the upcoming ACC U-19 Elite Cup would join the U-19 teams of the four Test-playing nations of Asia in the newly proposed U-19 tournament.
“The proposed U-19 tournament will take place in India in 2011, while the host country and date for the Men´s A Team and Academy Team tournaments are yet to be finalized,” said Pandey.
“Associate and affiliate nations like us will send national teams for the tournaments while Test-playing nations will send their A teams and Academy teams,” added Pandey.
According to Pandey, India and Sri Lanka were less interested in the women´s tournament. “As India and Sri Lanka showed lack of interest, the women´s tournament could be organized as bilateral series between interested nations,” said Pandey.
Meanwhile, the meeting formally declared to organize the ACC T20 Cup in Nepal this year. However, the date is yet to be decided. “It could be held either at the end of October or in early November,” said Pandey.
During the meeting in Dhaka, it was also decided that the next Asia Cup would be played in Dhaka from March 1-11, 2012. The meeting took the decision to hold the 11th Asia Cup at Mirpur Stadium in Bangladesh.