The much-anticipated ACC schedule for its 2006 tournaments has been announced.

Along with the biennial ACC Trophy to be played in Malaysia in August, the ACC U-15 Cup will be played for the first time with Elite and Plate Divisions.

“Dividing the age-group tournaments into two divisions is a good move”, said K.K. Haridas, ACC Events Assistant, “it will make the tournaments more competitive and with the matches being that much more even, the players on both sides will get a much better chance to improve their game.”

Along with the ACC Fast Track Tournament, renamed as the ACC Premier League, age-group competitions will have promotion and relegation categories. “Each match up and down the competitive structure will have a bearing on a country’s ranking, and this format opens up many opportunities for countries to establish themselves. There can be no coasting on past reputations and no turning up just to make up the numbers. It is the future that counts!” said K.K. Haridas.

Evolution, not revolution, is the key to deep-rooted advancement. Grass-roots can be blown away if not planted correctly and as custodians of the game in Asia, the ACC fervently feels that the time has now come to make cricket throughout Asia truly matter by making each game under the ACC mandate truly matter.

This is a huge step forward for the region. Competitive strength at this level can only translate into competitive strength when it comes to future World Cup qualification. Four of Asia’s eighteen non-Test playing countries can qualify for the 2011 World Cup. The process starts now.

Related links: Tournaments

Filed January 27 2006