The 10-team Youth Asia Cup 2003 will be held between July 14 and 27 at seven different centres in Karachi. The finalists of the tournament will qualify for next month's Youth World Cup to be staged in Bangladesh in January-February.
The participating teams are:
Pool A: United Arab Emirates, Maldives, Singapore, Nepal and Qatar.
Pool B: Malaysia, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Oman and Thailand.
A total of 23 matches will be played as the teams have been equally divided into two groups with the league matches to be played on single league basis. The event, it may be mentioned, is being organized by the Pakistan Cricket Board at the request of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The competition was originally scheduled for Singapore but was shifted because of SARS.
"It is a good opportunity for Pakistan to once again establish itself as a safe venue to play cricket. We are also delighted to be hosting the 10 participating teams who have expressed no security concerns," Zakir Khan, PCB's General Manager Cricket Operations, who is also incharge of the event, said.
Pakistan, this season, is also hosting three Test playing nations along with India Under-19 and England Under-19.
"This tournament, though may not be of the same magnitude, yet it will serve as a dress rehearsal for the forthcoming domestic international matches," Zakir said.
The other significant part of the competition will be the representation of two Indians - former Test allrounder Roger Binny and Dr Vace Paes.
"We welcome the Indians who are involved in this competition. It just goes on to show that the relations between the two countries are on the mend," Zakir said, adding: "The support and cooperation of Interior Ministry and Foreign Office cannot be ignored as they have backed us all the way."
Bangladesh's Athar Ali Khan is the chairman and tournament director while Roger Binny and Rumesh Ratnayake of Sri Lanka will be the members.
Dr Vace Paes heads the medical committee that also includes Dr Sohail Salim and Dr Qaiser Sajjad.
Zakir said Culligan Mineral Waters are the lone sponsors of the tournament.
Besides awarding trophies to the winners and losing finalists, specialists awards for Man-of-the-Final, player of the tournament, best bowler, best batsman, best wicketkeeper and best fielder will also be distributed.
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Pakistan Cricket Board
3 July 2003