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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 August, 2004, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Pakistan host 2006 Asia Cup
By Shahid Hashmi
BBC Sport in Colombo

Pakistan is set to host the Asia Cup in 2006 for the first time in the tournament's history.

Pakistan has never hosted the biennial event before due to political tension with India.

But improving relations between the countries recently prompted the Asian Cricket Council to make the offer.

"It is an honour to stage the event in Pakistan and we are ready to host the event," said Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan.

The decision was made on Sunday at a meeting attended by all the Asian Cricket Council Test playing members, including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

With the revival of Indo-Pakistan relations we deemed it fit to stage the event in Pakistan
Ashraful Huq
ACC chief executive
"The formal invitation to host the 2006 Asia Cup was given to Pakistan at the Executive Board meeting held on Sunday," said ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq.

"And Pakistan has formally agreed to host the event"

The PCB will decide on the exact dates of the event once India announce the dates of the ICC Champions Trophy which they will host in the same year.

Sharjah staged the first Asia Cup in 1984 and since then it has also been hosted by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India.

"This 2004 event was originally sheduled to be staged in Pakistan but had to be shifted to Sri Lanka last year," added Huq.

"Now with the revival of Indo-Pakistan relations we deemed it fit to stage the event in Pakistan."

But the ACC put off the decision on the Asian Test championship , the last two editions of which were held in 1999 and 2001.

"We need at least 45 days to host the Asian Test championship and in the hectic international schedule a firm proposal will be discussed later."

The meeting also decided that Asian Test-playing countries will get around 1.4m each from the 10.5m revenues earned from this year's Asia Cup.

Hong Kong and UAE, both of whom featured in the 2004 Asia Cup, will receive a sum of 165,000 each while the rest of the fund will be spent on the development of cricket in the Associate members.


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