Lord’s should be the venue for ICC centenary: Ashraf

July 11th, 2008 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, July 11 (IANS) Asia’s new cricket chief Nasim Ashraf has said that he threw his weight behind the move to switch International Cricket Council’s (ICC) next year’s annual conference back to Lord’s to mark its centenary year. Ashraf, who took over as the chairman of the Asia Cricket Council (ACC), said that in spite of Asia’s emergence as world cricket’s financial engine Lord’s remains the spiritual home of cricket.

“There is no doubt that Asia is now the hub of world cricket,” Ashraf said in a chat show on a Pakistani satellite channel. “But we should acknowledge cricket facts and one of them is that Lord’s is Lord’s, and it should be the venue for the centenary celebrations of the ICC,” said Ashraf, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The ICC executive board took the unanimous decision of switching the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to Lord’s during last week’s annual meeting in Dubai. The centenary AGM was moved to ICC’s Dubai headquarters over concerns that Peter Chingoka, heading the troubled Zimbabwe board, would not be granted British visa.

Many critics, however, have pointed out that the holding of ICC centenary meet in an Asian city instead of Lord’s - the home of cricket - was a clear proof of the fact that the sport’s power base has shifted to Asia.

Ashraf agreed that Asia is now the powerhouse of cricket, but he said he was one of the first ones who threw their weight behind the move to switch the centenary meet to Lord’s.

“Asia has a greater responsibility towards the game,” he stressed. “We have to take the world along with us and by supporting Lord’s as the venue for the 100th annual meeting of the ICC we have made it clear that Asia will not impose its decisions on others,” Ashraf said.

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