India will feature in Asia Cup to be held in June: PCB chief

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New Delhi, November 21 (UNI) India will participate in the Asia Cup that will be hosted by Pakistan next summer, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf said here.

Speaking to newspersons here, Ashraf said that some of the top officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have assured him that the Indians will feature in the continental event which is now likely to take place in the first week of June in Karachi.

''The Asia Cup is very much on,'' the PCB chief said. ''I've talked to BCCI officials about the tournament and they have promised that India would certainly take part in the tournament,'' he added.

Asia Cup, earlier was scheduled for April next year. But now it has been decided to reschedule the ninth edition on the request of the BCCI which said it clashed with the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

India's lack of interest, which along with Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the main attractions for the tournament meant that the next year's edition might get scrapped. But Ashraf stressed that the six nation tournament take place in Pakistan next year in a befitting manner.

Ashraf explained, ''reason why we agreed to find new dates for the event was the fact that April didn't suit us because our players will be playing in a tough series against Australia just about the same time.'' He added by saying that Pakistan agreed to reschedule the tournament on India's request because some of the Pakistan players are committed to IPL. ''Some of our top players will be taking part in the IPL,'' he said.

Karachi has been selected as the venue for the Asia Cup as according to him the weather there would be better than any major cricket centre of the country during that time of the year.

The Asia Cup which was was initiated in 1983, sees two groups of three sides, where each side in a group play all the teams of it's group once. The top two teams in each group play in knock-out semifinals, which is followed by a one-off final.

World Cup finalists Sri Lanka top Group A that also includes Bangladesh and United Arab Emirates. Pakistan and India share Group B with Oman.

UNI

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