Africa and Asia set to go head-to-head
Africa and Asia are set to go head-to-head in a three-match one-day series from August 15 to 21, in a tournament that has been organised by the newly formed Afro-Asian Cricket Co-operation.
The dates for the series were confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India and are expected to be finalised during the ongoing ICC meeting at Lord's. The series was first discussed last month at the inaugural meeting of the AACC, following an agreement between the Asian Cricket Council and the African Cricket Association.
Recently, cricket has begun moving away from tradition Nation v Nation encounters. The success of the Tsunami Appeal matches have promoted the idea of regional contests, and in October, Australia take on the Rest of the World in one six-day Test and three one-day matches. Asia's XI would be drawn from the players of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with Africa being made up pre-dominantly of South Africans, with Zimbabwe and Kenya also contributing.
"Spectacular batsmen like Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, Virender Sehwag of India and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka will play for the same side," an Indian official told AFP. "Then there will be Muttiah Muralitharan [from Sri Lanka] and India's Anil Kumble bowling together. It will be a feast for the eyes."
The series will take place annually with alternate years in Africa and Asia, although it has already been agreed that Africa will host the first game. Under the agreement, 70% of the net profit from the matches would go to the hosting continent and 20% to the visiting side, with a further 10% to a specially created charity for the promotion of cricket in the two continents.
For the first three years, the AACC will be headed by the ACC chief, Jagmohan Dalmiya, with the ACA chairman Peter Chingoka acting as vice-chairman. Each association will constitute its own selection committee to pick the Asian and African elevens.