India's performance to boost cricket in Asia: ACC

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Lahore, Mar 20 (UNI) The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) believes that India's spirited performance in Down Under will be a catalyst for other Asian countries to perform better and will be a boon for cricket in the region.

''India beating Australia is very good for cricket in Asia and will encourage nations like Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, China and Afghanistan,'' ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq said today.

India played competetive cricket in the Tests but lost the series 1-2. However, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's one-day side defeated Australia 2-0 in the best-of-three finals to lift the CB Trophy which also included Sri Lanka as the third team.

Huq, a former secretary of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, claimed that India is the best team in the world and said the ACC will look to carry forward India's success.

''I watched both the finals in Australia and was amazed how the young Indian team paid the Australians back - both on and off the field.

''We hope minor nations take a leaf out of India's book. We hope that two Asian teams, other than the four top nations who play directly, qualify for the World Cup 2011,'' he said.

He further added that the inclusion of cricket in the 2010 Asian Games in China will surely lift the game.

''China is improving by leaps and bounds and cricket's inclusion in the Asian Games will open new avenues for the game. I can say with confidence that the Chinese women's team will give top nations a tough fight very soon.

''Cricket is spreading in China like anything and we hope that once China gets their team in the top competitions, the game will flourish in their market and help our cause,'' he added UNI XC RAR AB RK1740

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