Karachi, July 6 : Sri Lanka's wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara has described Asia as the modern-day custodian of the game of cricket, and claimed that the region 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).
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.
The ACC was formed in 1983 and now has four full and 18 associate members. The seminar was hosted on the sidelines of ninth Asia Cup which is hosted by Pakistan.
Sangakkara, who will play for Sri Lanka in the final against India on Sunday, 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 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.
ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq said Asian cricket had come a long way in the last 25 years.
"From a body formed by some eight experienced administrators, the ACC has come a long way and so has Asian cricket. It is a long successful journey and we are proud to be the leaders of world cricket," said Huq.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf, who will take over as ACC chairman from Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga on Sunday, 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," said Ashraf. (ANI with inputs)