The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Afro-Asian meet may precede
- October-November Champions Trophy

Calcutta: After doubts in more than one quarter, edition No.2 of the Afro-Asian Cup may be held in India, in September, as a “build-up” to the October 15-November 5 Champions Trophy.

“That’s one possibility, yes' The other, as of now, is scheduling it once the Trophy is over. Yet another possibility is having the event after next year’s World Cup,” Nimbus’ Harish Thawani told The Telegraph.

Nimbus, which features in mega deals, has the marketing rights for “three editions” of the Afro-Asian Cup, a fund-raising venture of the Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation.

[Incidentally, 10 per cent of the earnings are to be set aside for a charity chosen by the host continent.]

Sharad Pawar, who heads both the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is the Afro-Asian body’s chairman.

Zimbabwe’s Peter Chingoka, representing Africa, is the vice-chairman. Controversies, clearly, don’t seem to affect him.

According to Thawani, if the Afro-Asian Cup isn’t held this year, then it’s likely to become a biennial tournament.

Edition No.1 was held in South Africa last August, with the three-match series ending 1-1.

Africa XI won the first ODI, while Asia XI claimed the next. Rain forced the third to be abandoned.

Zaheer Khan, currently turning out for Worcestershire, was adjudged Player of the Series. He bagged three wickets in each match.

The end of Jagmohan Dalmiya’s innings in the BCCI and his resignation as ACC president and chairman of the Afro-Asian body (six months ago) had, of course, put a question mark over a unique partnership between two continents.

Largely because it was his baby and the Pawar camp wasn’t, at that stage, keen on promoting anything initiated by the one-time supremo.

There was, one understands, a rethink as ignoring the Afro-Asian body would particularly antagonise two key voters within the International Cricket Council ' South Africa and Zimbabwe.

That would have been too heavy a price to pay.

Footnote: Pawar’s term as ACC president ends next month (after the AGM in Kuala Lumpur) and, going by the policy of rotation, the next head should be from Sri Lanka. The ACC president also chairs the Afro-Asian body.

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