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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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Dalmiya's brainchild Asian Test Championship fades away
May 13, 2007 - 12:14:24 PM
Huq, who belongs to Dhaka, is now based in Kuala Lumpur where the permanent ACC headquarters are based.

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[RxPG] Dhaka, May 13 - The Asian Test Championship -, conceived and launched by India's enterprising cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya eight years ago, has died a quiet death due to time constraint among the four Test playing nations, a top official confirmed here Sunday.

'Yes, I am afraid the Asian Test Championship - will not be held anymore because of the time factor. The countries do not have enough time to play it,' Asian Cricket Council - chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq told IANS here.

The ATC - involving India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - was held only twice, in 1999 when Pakistan won the title, and in 2001-2002 when Sri Lanka won. India lost to Pakistan in Kolkata in the first one and crashed out in a competition that was played on a knockout basis.

India did not take part in the second edition, held in Pakistan, due to political reasons.

Originally, the ATC and the Asia Cup, comprising One-day International matches, were planned to be held in alternate years.

There were tentative plans to host the ATC and Asia Cup, but both had to be postponed because of lack of time.

There was still some hope that the ATC would be revived, but Huq squashed all such thoughts.

'It was very nice concept, it was good. I would have loved to have it organised again. But you must see the commitments of the Test playing countries these days,' said the man who was also part of the brains trust that mooted the idea of the competition.

Huq also happens to be a close associate of Dalmiya - a former president of the International Cricket Council - and the Board of Control for Cricket in India -.

He said that the ever tightening international cricket schedule coupled with Dalmiya's ouster from the mainline administration in India meant that the championship could be organised only once.

'No country can give even 15 days of their time now in a calendar year for anything. So, to ask them to give about two months for the ATC is asking too much from them. It just cannot happen,' explained Huq, also a former Bangladesh Cricket Board - vice-president and secretary.

'Imagine, one match each against each other among the four Test playing countries [India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh] in Asia and the final match means there would be seven matches of five days each, which means 35 days. Include the rest days and it comes to two months. Therefore, it can't be held.'

Huq, who belongs to Dhaka, is now based in Kuala Lumpur where the permanent ACC headquarters are based.

He was here to announce the teams for the Afro-Asia Cup, the three-match One-day International series between the Asian and African continents to be held in India next month.

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