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Pakistan to host ninth Asia Cup

The Asian Cricket Council has confirmed that the ninth Asia Cup will be held in Pakistan in February next year. The four Test-playing countries will be joined by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, the finalists in the 2004 Asian Cricket Council Trophy.

The preliminary matches will be played at Rawalpindi and Karachi, with the later rounds and the final being played in Lahore. The six teams will be divided into two groups - group A containing Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and UAE, and group B containing India, Oman and Pakistan. The top two sides in each group will progress to the second stage.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Asian Cricket Council, said: "The Asia Cup has always been a landmark event in Asia. It brings together the strength of our countries and stands as an inspiration to all our Associate members as it gives them the opportunity to play at the highest level. The Asia Cup has always been closely contested and I anticipate that this tournament will do much to further increase the public's interest in cricket."

2006 Asia Cup