Afghanistan news March 22, 2013

Afghanistan sign up for Pakistan support


Afghanistan have received a boost after a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the development of Afghanistan cricket ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

The PCB will provide technical and professional support, including game-education programmes, coaching courses, skill and performance analysis, and basic umpiring and curator courses. High performance camps for emerging players will also be organised. The PCB-regulated National Cricket Academy (NCA) will help in improving technical, tactical, mental and physical skills, and will host lectures on doping, anti-corruption and various codes of conduct. The finance for the project will be decided later, with the NCA-related activities likely to be subsidised.

The Sharjah Cricket Stadium has served as Afghanistan's base since 2010, after they were forced to shift out of their country due to lack of infrastructure. But Pakistan's cricketing history, expertise and the opportunities for exposure to regular competitive cricket will polish their cricketers more than in the UAE, and this has brought ACB to accept Pakistan's helping hand.

"The PCB has always supported and helped the ACB with regards to cricket development there since the 1990s," PCB chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmad, said. "With the PCB's continued support, Afghanistan has the potential to go places. This would be good not just in terms of spreading the game in Afghanistan but promoting peace and harmony there by bringing the people closer."

Afghanistan became a member of the ICC in 2001 and qualified for World Cricket League (WCL) Division One in 2009 to attain one-day international status. They recently made their third trip to Pakistan in the last two years, having lost a one-day series 3-0 to a second-string Pakistan side in May 2011. They followed this up by participating in a domestic Twenty20 competition in Karachi.

Noor Muhammad, ACB CEO, acknowledged PCB's support. "The MoU that we have just signed shall take Afghanistan's cricket development on a fast track," he said. "Our cricketers, coaches and umpires shall be able to make use of PCB's excellent facilities and various education programmes. Our boys will get the opportunity to hone their skills in high-calibre competitions.

"I am indeed obliged to the PCB for this kind and voluminous support," Noor said. "Actually it is Pakistan's support that has seen Afghanistan cricket make rapid strides among affiliate nations, taking it to the verge of an enhanced status to associate member."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    Well it is a good idea on paper however how much do Afghanistan need to learn anyway. I mean Afghanistan and Ireland are the two top associate nations in cricket isn't about time they step them up to the test status level or have them playing for ODI against the established nations. Playing one nation per year is not good enough. The test teams should play the top associates at least one each in a year. More tests teams will be better for cricket as a whole.

  • david on March 24, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    This is good step by PCB and ACB but they should arrange ODI and T20 between the two teams as soon as possible. This would help Afghanistan team a lot. Afghanistan has so much talent, i am sure they would be top side of the world within 5 to 10 years.

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    I am very Glad to heard about this news which Pakistan is supporting ACB .

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    This is a great news and a very appreciable step from Pakistan toward supporting Afghanistan. Thanks PCB. We want other Asian countries ( Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh) as well to support Afghanistan cricket. So far we only have seen a great support from Pakistan. We can't ignore Bangladesh's support as well for inclusion of Afghan players in BPL. However, unfortunately the greatest Indian country India has so far shown no committed support to Afghanistan. The same with Sri Lanka. They should at least have a look to Western countries like England the way it supports Associate countries (Scots, Ireland and Holland). plz don't ignore.......

  • Gary on March 24, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    Excellent to hear, Pakistan have been very supporting of Associate cricket recently, coming to Ireland 2 years ago and again this summer for 2 matches each, not just a once off. Delighted to know one full member supports us...

  • borhan on March 23, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Hold your thoughts boys to get test status they need to have a stable economy ,investment in cricket ,fields & also their law & order situation have to be more secured from where they can show long term player supply ..Afghanistan may need more opportunity to play on pakistan league hope to keep up good performance to play occasionally on T20 /odi world cup

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    That's great ! If PCB continues to help ACB , sooner or later Afghanistan Cricket Team will get test status In sha Allah .Would be great if Wasim Akram or Waqar Younus becomes head coach of Afghanistan .

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    very good news and so pleasuring. i hope Pakistan and Afghanistan start helping each others in all aspects of life. pakistan is our neighbor country with whom we need to live peacefully and in love. if we started helping each others as we are doing in cricket we will be a power together in the world but i dont know why our leaders dont understand this. i wish one day pakistan and afghanista become a real brother who always support each other in every field of life. thnx pakistan and wish both countries all the best. i am from Afghanistan but it really hurt me whenver i see pakistan losing a match because i love pakistan as much as i love Afghanistan.

  • Salman on March 23, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    @ Ahmad Ramin Samandar: Really?! This is what you have to say after the support PCB shows? I hope Afghanistan grabs this opportunity and learns as much as possible rather than returning quickly.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Afghans will soon move ahead from teams like Holland, Ireland and even Zimbabwe

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