Afro-Asian TV rights confirmed
The television rights for the 2005 Afro-Asia cup have finally been confirmed this morning, with Nimbus Sports International of Singapore announced as the sole partner. A lack of interest by the front-runners ESPN/Star and Ten Sports, both of whom are otherwise committed, had dampened the appeal of the event, as had the lack of availability of leading players.
In a statement released today, the chief executive of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), Syed Ashraful Huq, said: "Nimbus made a terrific offer, well in excess of any prior media speculation, to acquire the worldwide rights to the next three Afro-Asia Cups. Not only will cricket fans the world over get the opportunity to watch some spectacular cricket between the best players from Africa and Asia, young cricketers across both continents will benefit because of the funds raised by these matches."
The 2005 Afro-Asia Cup, to be hosted by South Africa, starts later this month with three one- day Internationals, the first being held at Centurion. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the ACC president and chairman of the Afro-Asian Cricket Co-operation, was delighted with the announcement: "The Afro-Asia Cup will do much to raise the funds necessary to boost activity and support for youth and junior cricket across Africa and Asia," he said. "Our working slogan is 'Cricket for Unity.' Singly we are strong, together we are even stronger."
The ICC match referee appointed for the Cup is Clive Lloyd, and the umpires Steve Davis (Australia) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies) will officiate in the three games.