Nazmul Hasan, Asian Cricket Council’s new president, is convinced that the Asia Cup has grown in its stature and is hopeful of holding the tournament every year. The tournament currently is being played once every two years, alternating between the 50-over and T20 formats.
“We are thinking of organizing the Asia Cup every year – this is a positive side,” Nazmul said on Wednesday (November 21) upon his arrival from Lahore following the Annual General Meeting of the ACC. “The last Asia Cup held in UAE proves that Asia is the life-plant of world cricket. There’s no doubt about it. In the meeting, I heard that the Bangladesh-Afghanistan clash was the highest viewed. Unbelievable!” said Nazmul.
“Bangladesh-Sri Lanka was probably the second highest. So the stereotypes are changing. Previously, it was about India-Pakistan. Now Bangladesh is also getting the audience’s attention. Afghanistan also had spectators in their matches. Things are changing. Cricket is becoming more popular in these places,” he added.
During the ACC meeting, there were discussions of including cricket in the Asian Games, revealed Nazmul who also mentioned that ACC have chalked plans to push for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics. Cricket was first introduced in the Asian Games in 2010, followed by the 2014 edition.
“We have discussed the Asian Games. We want to include cricket in multi-sports events. But there are certain issues, for example, if the Asian Games is being held in a country where there are no cricket stadiums, where they don’t play cricket. In that case, it naturally does not attract much excitement,” said Nazmul.
“So, we have made a plan that we will take cricket into the Asian Games and the Olympic games within a certain time period, which I cannot disclose now. But before that, we’ll have to do some homework. If we can interest big markets like China or the USA in this game, we will automatically make progress. We have discussed a timeframe even in the last meeting in Lahore regarding entering different events. A lot of work has to be done. We’ll be doing those works.”
Nazmul also hinted at discussions with the ICC to receive funds, which have stopped in recent times. “Currently, we have a different relationship with ICC. We used to get funds from ICC in the past but we do not get that now. So we have separated a bit. There are certain areas which can be discussed with the ICC and I think we will do that.
“Maybe we’ll have our next meeting in Dhaka. We want to arrange the meetings in Dhaka during my tenure. We will discuss our next course of action there. I will also have a formal meeting with the ICC chairman. Before that, we will finalize the agendas and the topics for discussion,” Nazmul said.