The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Matches in Jo’burg, Cape Town
- London session should finalise dates of fund-raisers; Lanka advancing meet

Calcutta: The proposed Asia versus Africa fund-raising matches, organised by the newly-formed Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation, will be played in South Africa.

Mid-August ' after the tri-series in Sri Lanka and before India’s tour of Zimbabwe ' is the preferred slot for the three-match series.

“The dates aren’t confirmed, but if all goes well, the matches are going to be staged in Johannesburg and Cape Town,” convenor Syed Ashraful Huq told The Telegraph on Wednesday.

One of the venues, in all probability Newlands (Cape Town), will get two matches.

According to the Kuala Lumpur-based Huq, who is also the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief executive, Durban has been ruled out as the weather there is “extremely unpredictable” in mid-August.

Incidentally, he favours the selection of the squads by an “independent panel” and not the national selectors.

“The national selectors can get tempted to push certain players. That won’t be so if an independent panel is entrusted the responsibility in both Asia and Africa,” Huq explained.

The new body, formed with the coming together of the ACC and the African Cricket Association (ACA), intends organising three fund-raising matches each year.

As announced, the continents are to play hosts alternately.

The dates of the inaugural series should be finalised when the ACC and ACA brass meets in London later this month, on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council’s AGM.

Once the dates are agreed upon, the world body is going to be moved for official (ODI) status.

The host continent will get 70 per cent of the earnings from every fund-raising venture, with 20 per cent going to the other partner. The balance will be for a charity in the host continent.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has responded favourably to a request from India ' aimed at facilitating the fund-raisers ' for advancing the upcoming tournament.

“Now, the tri-series is expected to be held from July 29 to August 11,” informed SLC chief executive Duleep Mendis, when contacted in Colombo.

Earlier, it was to have been staged between August 2-14. Besides India and Sri Lanka, the 2005-06 season-launching tournament is going to feature the West Indies.

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