Asian cricket driving the World, claims Sangakkara

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Karachi, Jul 6 (UNI) While the supremacy of BCCI is a known fact these days, Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara claimed that Asia leads international cricket as the financial hub and custodian of the game which has pioneered unprecedented globalisation.

''Asia has transformed from minnows of world cricket to the true powerhouse of cricket and we are now the economic driving force behind the world cricket,'' said Sangakkara at a seminar marking the silver jubilee of the Asian Cricket Cricket Council (ACC) yesterday.

The seminar, 'past, present and future of Asian cricket' was attended by current and former cricketers and administrators from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and various other Asian countries.

As the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper gears up to take on India in the final of the Asia Cup today, he said Asia was now the spiritual home of the game.

''There is no doubt that Lord's in London has traditionally been accepted as traditional home of the game but, in my opinion, there has been a gradual shift with magnificent stadiums in Asia.

''The ravages of tsunami being soothed by the panacea that is cricket and when I see this all I have to ask has Asia not now become the new spiritual home of world cricket? I think it has,'' Sangakkara said.

Pointing out to the contribution of Asia in the World cricket, Sangakkara said Asia had produced world class players who have revolutionised the game.

''Asia has produced teams that have impacted the game in profound ways and cricketers who have individually shaped the way cricket is played and introduced new skills in the game,'' he said.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf, who will take over as the ACC chairman from Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga today, said Asian cricket had progressed by leaps and bounds.

''Asian cricket is like Ferrari, going fast and smooth and if we follow the rules of transparency and integrity there is no reason why Asian cricket do not attain maximum heights,'' Ashraf said.

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