The 34th annual meeting of Asian Cricket Council (ACC), held in Colombo this week has decided to revive different age group tournaments.
According to the press release on their website, tournaments concerning U-16s, U-19s and U-23s will now be organised annually. ACC has also decided to give continuity to the Women’s Asia Cup and U-19 Asia Cup.
This is indeed a welcome decision for associates like Nepal, which had to settle for few tournaments here and there. Now, this will not only provide regular international match exposure but also furnish age group cricket.
The U-19 Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in India will now be hosted by Malaysia. The BCCI lost the hosting rights due to Pakistan’s Cricket board objections after the ongoing Indo-Pak conflicts. However, BCCI is determined not to lose the rights of the senior version of the tournament scheduled for 2018.
ACC emerging teams Asia Cup, previously being organised in a couple of years will now be played annually, thanks to the suggestions from ACC Development Committee.
Nepal will need to play the qualifiers for U-19 Asia Cup this year. The qualifier is scheduled for September 8-17 consisting of Nepal, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Bhutan, China and Myanmar along with host Malaysia. Top 2 teams from the tournament will qualify for the U-19 Asia Cup to be held in November this year, also in Malaysia.
ACC asserts these tournaments will assist the development of cricket in non test playing nations.
ICC had dissolved its Asian wing, the ACC, in 2015. Following the event, countries like Nepal had to suffer due to the reduced international participation and lack of quality match exposure. ACC revamped itself in 2016 and currently operating form its Sri Lanka office.
From its inception in 1983, ACC has already organised 13 editions of the Asia Cup. Prior to being dissolved, the Asian Cricket Council was stationed at Malaysia.