Nasim Ashraf, the Pakistan board chairman, has been appointed president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). Ashraf, who was elected unanimously for a two-year term, succeeds Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan captain. P Krisnasamh from Malaysia has been appointed vice-president.
Ashraf said his priority would be to expand cricket in Asia and indicated the next edition of the Asia Cup would be held in a non Test-playing country. Currently, there are four Asian Test-playing nations: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. "The ACC has many associate member countries as candidates for the 2010 Asia Cup," Ashraf said. "Hopefully one will be selected in the next six months."
Ashraf also mentioned of a possible revival of the Asian Test Championship, a round-robin Test tournament. The first edition was held in 1999 and the second in 2001-02, before it was scrapped. India had pulled out of the second edition due to political tensions with Pakistan. With an African delegation also present in Karachi, he spoke of strengthening relations with Africa by making the Afro-Asia Cup a regular event. The next edition is scheduled for 2009 in Kenya.
Ashraf also called for support from the Asian bloc to push for cricket to be included in the forthcoming Olympics. "Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world and deserves to be in the Olympics. We will try our level best to get it included in the London Olympics (2012)."