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July 6, 2002 | 0502 IST

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India, Pakistan to take part in double wicket tournament in US

By Correspondent

International cricketers from eight nations will take part in the second edition of the International Double Wicket Cricket Tournament, being staged in Houston, Texas between July 19-21.

The organisers have picked the spectacular Houston Astrodome as venue for the tournament.

At a media briefing on Friday to announce the event, Badar Refaie, secretary of the United States of America Cricket Association, lauded the organisers and said that the game would get a boost thanks to the participation of the international superstars.

Cricket commentator Hasan Jalil spelt out the rules of the tournament.

The teams have been divided into two groups. Group A comprises Pakistan Blues, India Reds, West Indies, England and Canada. Group B includes Pakistan Greens, India Blues, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and USA.

The qualifying rounds comprise 16 matches with each pair batting and bowling for eight overs. The semi-finals will be of twenty overs with each pair bowling and batting for ten overs. The final will be played over twenty-four overs.

The winning team stands to earn $25,000, runners up get $10,000 and the two losing semi-finalists get $3,000 each. Awards will also be given to outstanding individual players.

Pakistan have a strong contingent with Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi, who had won the inaugural tournament held in New Jersey last year, returning to defend their title.

Interestingly, the media release lists the likes of V V S Laxman, Ajit Agarkar and Yuvraj Singh as playing for India. The three are, however, now doing duty with the national team in England.

The organisers said that efforts are on to get the best possible participation from India, the players' international commitments permitting -- an indication that they hope some of these players will not be picked for the Test series that follows the ongoing one day international tri-series, and will hence be able to make it to Houston.

The event is being organised by Sports Worldwide Inc The following teams are expected to participate in the tournament:

Wasim Akram
Shahid Afridi
Abdur Razzak
Azhar Mahmood

INDIA (from):
Nayan Mongia
V V S Laxman
Robin Singh
Yuvraj Singh
Ajit Agarkar
Hemang Badani
Amay Khurasiya

Aminul Islam
Akram Khan

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Ricardo Powell

Aravinda de Silva
Russell Arnold

Graeme Hick
Dominic Cork

USA and Canada are yet to announce their teams. Rashid Latif of Pakistan is slated to keep wickets for all teams. Fielders will be provided by the US cricket association.

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