The ACC Emerging Teams Cup has been created by the Asian Cricket Council for the specific cause of developing the talents of the most prominent young cricketers of Asia. The event, the inaugural edition of which is being held in Singapore, follows on from the Council’s highly successful U-19 Asia Cup series. The most recent ACC U-19 Asia Cup was played in front of packed houses, the Final, played between India and Pakistan, going down to the last ball and ending in a tie. The event served as a direct warm-up for the ICC U19 World Cup and this Emerging Teams Cup is directed at promoting the careers of the cricketers in the Test-playing countries and our leading Associate nations.

Those with the most potential to succeed on the highest stage have been selected by the Test-playing countries, and the three Associate nations’ teams who join hosts Singapore in the event, have won the right to match themselves against the Under-23 cricketers of the Test-playing nations by virtue of their standings in the most recent ACC Trophy in 2012. In a year of highly exciting ACC finals, the last ACC Trophy ended in yet another tie, this time between UAE and Nepal. Afghanistan weren’t at their best in that particular event, perhaps wearied by their efforts at the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka just a couple of weeks earlier, but they have been showing some form in the lead-up to this Emerging Teams Cup. I know that the National Academies of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been filled by their U-23s in recent weeks, what has also impressed is the intensity with which Afghanistan in Namibia, Nepal in Sri Lanka, and the UAE in Canada, have been preparing for this ACC Emerging Teams Cup. We are just starting a highly significant six months for the Associate teams, with T20 and 50-over World Cup places at stake in various qualifiers and this ACC Emerging Teams Cup can only help our ACC Associate teams’ causes.

Honours even at the end of the 2012 U-19 Asia Cup

With the gracious support of the Test-playing nations, not least through their unwavering support for the Asia Cup, the next one of which will be played in Bangladesh in February 2014 and which does so much to raise the funds necessary for our Development Program, the ACC Emerging Teams Cup is likely to be a regular biennial feature of the ACC tournament calendar from now on. The gap between the Test-playing nations and Associates at U-19 level has narrowed, we trust that the U-23 cricketers of the Test-playing nations will now also be pushed hard, perhaps even to the limit, by Associate cricketers who have been guided, trained and developed by our Asian Cricket Council tournament and coaching programs, Development Officers and management practises.

With so many first-class cricketers in the event already, future Test, ODI and T20 stars could become apparent in a very short space of time, such is the prominence and competitiveness of this event. We are a development body. This is what we do: provide the best possible conditions for Asian cricket and Asian cricketers to succeed.

ACC Emerging Teams Cup

Filed August 14th, 2013