Afro-Asia Cup 2007 / News

Afro-Asia Cup

A brief history ...

Martin Williamson

May 28, 2007

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Heath Streak is floored after attempting to field of his own bowling during the 2005 tournament. The empty seats were indicative of the interest in the event © AFP
The Afro-Asia Cup was the brainchild of Jagmohan Dalmiya, almost his last before he was hounded from office and, subsequently, the game. The idea was to raise money for the Asian Cricket Council and the African Cricket Association, and the whole venture was given a massive boost when the ICC, somewhat controversially, agreed to give the series of one-day matches full ODI status. This was needed to attract sponsor and broadcast interest, but it angered many who argued that it cheapened the record books.

The inaugural tournament took place in South Africa in August 2005, but it proved a big turn-off with the public, although millions were raised through TV and commercial tie-ups. The packed international calendar meant that it had to be played out of season - the outfield at Johannesburg had to be sprayed green for TV audiences.

There was a suspicion that the players were going through the motions. Neil Manthorp noted that they "came together to celebrate wickets in the same manner that accountants gather to discuss a book-keeping oddity. What was the point of it all? Who cared?"

The inaugural tournament was drawn 1-1 after rain washed out the decider in Durban - as if anyone was too bothered - and it seemed that the event would be a one-off before it resurfaced jammed in between the almost endless cycle of one-dayers in June 2007. Again the schedulers arranged for it to be played in the wrong place at the wrong time - during the start of southern India's monsoon season.

In fairness, the money raised did benefit areas of the game that would otherwise have not been in receipt of significant funding. But there remained concerns at the way the event was given official backing.

Almanack report

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: Afro-Asia Cup
Tournament Results
Africa XI v Asia XI at Chennai - Jun 10, 2007
Asia XI won by 13 runs
Africa XI v Asia XI at Chennai - Jun 9, 2007
Asia XI won by 31 runs
Africa XI v Asia XI at Bangalore - Jun 6, 2007
Asia XI won by 34 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days