Afro-Asian Cup 2005 July 26, 2005

PCB will not press players to play Afro-Asian Cup

Cricinfo staff

Inzaman-ul-Haq can opt out of the Afro-Asian Cup if he wishes to. © Getty Images

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said that it will not force its players to play in the Afro-Asia Cup to be held in South Africa in August. It has said that the cricketers could decide whether they wished to play in the series comprising three one-day internationals between Asia XI and Africa XI .

"No player would be pressed to play the matches which have been given official status by the International Cricket Council (ICC). We'll ask them [players] if they want to make themselves available, but if any player wants to skip the event it's all right with us," said a senior PCB official quoted in The News

Apart from Shoaib Akthar, Younis Khan and Danish Kaneria, who are playing for English counties, none of the other Pakistan cricketers have any cricket commitments until October when England is scheduled to tour Pakistan.

Saleem Altaf, PCB Director Cricket Operations, said that the Asia XI selection committee would meet in Dubai on August 1 to select the squad. "Majid Khan [Pakistan], Ravi Shastri [India]. Graeme Labrooy [Sri Lanka] and Shafiq-ul-Islam [Bangladesh] will meet to finalise the Asian XI squad," said Altaf. "But before that we've to inform them about the number of players available for selection." He also said that he hoped that the best players would be available to play.

The first game of the Afro-Asian Cup, which has been given official status by the ICC, will be held at Cape Town on August 17. The proceeds from the tournament will go to the Asian and African cricket associations and also to the recently-formed Afro-Asian Cricket Council.