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Afghanistan want more games against Full Members

Tony Munro

July 12, 2010

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Khaliq Dad celebrates one of his three wickets, Netherlands v Afghanistan, ICC WCL Division 1, Voorburg, July 7, 2010
Afghanistan's third place finish in the ICC WCL Division 1 tournament pleased coach Kabir Khan © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Kabir Khan
Teams: Afghanistan

Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan wants the ICC and more specifically the Asian Test-playing nations to provide his team with more games against Full Member opposition.

"I would like the ICC to give us more games against the Full Members as they can make a lot of difference," Kabir told Cricinfo. He compared the help England was giving European Associates with that given to Afghanistan by the Asian Full Members. "I will want India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to start helping us. England is one Full Member nation in Europe and they are supporting Ireland, Scotland and Holland. We've got four Test-playing nations around us and they are not helping."

Although Afghanistan were the ACC Trophy champions, they were omitted from the recent Asia Cup in Sri Lanka - the first time an ACC Trophy winner had not been included in the tournament. The Asian Cricket Council said including another team would have made staging the Asia Cup difficult due to the packed schedules of the Test nations.

Kabir emphasised the need for more matches because the lack of opportunities was delaying the team from reaching its full potential. "It will take time. They [Afghanistan players] need to play all year as they only come together for tournaments and camps, and that's not enough to get the best out of them. Afghanistan has not got the facilities or basic structure so we depend heavily on our Test-playing neighbours to either put one of our teams in their domestic [competitions] or take few of our players for different clubs and groom them for us."

Kabir was upbeat as he reflected on Afghanistan finishing third in the ICC World Cricket League Division One tournament in the Netherlands. "We improved our ranking, other teams struggled more, and we narrowly missed the final. We have certainly moved forward. The conditions were tough for batting and we chased in most games, which we never used to do well on a lot of occasions in past."

Despite pre-tournament tensions with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in the lead-up to the tournament, Khan was impressed with his side's commitment. "The team fought well in tough matches and never let it go till the last ball or last run. There was a very positive competition for places in the team and all were giving 100%."

Kabir conceded the friction with members of the ACB, and the organisation of preparations, had affected the team's showing. "I think it did as all was a mess preparation-wise, and young players who are not used to this type of mental pressure sometimes cannot cope with it. We couldn't have our camp on time and at the desired place suitable to Holland conditions. We could have gone to Holland three or four days before the tournament, acclimatised and would have played few matches too. We applied but never got visa in time."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (July 15, 2010, 4:52 GMT)

Hey Jono, thanks for response. My model however is the following: (1) World Cup: Teams 1-8 [14 series min 42 tests per team]. (2) World Plate: Teams 5-12 [14 series min 26 tests per team]. (3) ICup: Teams 9-17 (exc Assoc XI) [14 series min 14 matches per team]. (4) IShield: Teams 13-21 [14 series min 14 matches per team]. (5) IShield Qualifers: Teams 22+ (3 yrs) & winners VS IShield 5th-8th places.

4 yrs is needed as (eg) Aust vs India in Aust & in India would be opposite results (you would expect).

The model allows for liquidity as teams can play "friendly" matches (1-off, extra matches/series or extra series) where warm up matches only occur against other countries in "friendlies" (like how FIFA football does it).

If traditional teams (eg: WI) drop outside of top 8, they could still play top 4 teams in Friendlies without affecting either teams world rankings.

My model means any team can in 4 yrs go from 100th to 18th, 21st to 13th, 17th to 9th, 11th to 5th or 8th to 1st & reverse

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 19:08 GMT)

In comparison to some of the other associate teams; In the past 2 years Ireland have already played Australia,England, West Indies and now Bangladesh same goes with Scotland. I don't see why Afghanistan can't play a couple of warm up games during the Tri-serieses that are held in the sub-continent. It will provide ideal warm up and also I think Afghanistan can be drafted in warm up matches for the world cup- at least having the chance to play the full members will be beneficial. Its almost been 2 years since Afghanistan has got full ODI and still yet to play a ODI against a full member when considering almost half the full members are Its neighbors- It goes to show they are not very keen to have another guy on the block. Only Pakistan and SriLanka have offered some help in terms of facilities and tournament preparations but so far there has been nothing from Bangladesh and India, the least they can do is include a player or two in the IPL or their domestic teams.

Posted by pradeep_dealwis on (July 13, 2010, 16:48 GMT)

How did England help the Irish?...by stealing their players??? As far as Afghanistan is concerned i think they should've played in the Asia Cup with maybe Nepal..and i like Cameron McCall's idea....have the Afghans as a practice team in other tournaments in Asia, though i'm sure India, SL and PAK can easily throw in better A teams for the visiting teams to get match practice. Certinly more tours should be planned for AFG to come to other Asain countries and play the A teams..HECK!!! AFG can come and ply a whole 5 match series in SL...that'll be relief cuz everyone is just tired of seeing india!

Posted by kalyanbk on (July 13, 2010, 14:42 GMT)

Perhaps Afghanistan can field a team in the IPL. The Lahore Badshahs for example were a big draw in the ICL. Maybe we can have a Kabul Express? The other idea is for an invitation to play in Sheffield Shield in Australia or against England counties. Then perhaps play in triangular ODI series. I just hope that Afghanistan does not become another Kenya.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

Just to add to that, whatever is organised regarding Afghanistan should also be pushed out a little further to include Nepal and the UAE. The UAE have had a reasonable team for a good while now and seem to have great infrastructure at least, meanwhile Nepal seems to ebb and flow a little but can usually muster a battle at least. Perhaps some sort of first class competition can be organised for these teams to play each other. I'm all for the tours of Afghanistan to ireland, holland and kenya etc but to me these associate teams need to group together in their own regions, allowing far greater regularity of competition. Perhaps the star players of these regional competitions could form combined associate teams from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas?

Posted by YAMA-ARYAYEE on (July 13, 2010, 12:20 GMT)

ICC must support not alone some countries but all countries look !! football become a global game but cricket is not like that .. all neighbore countries like Indain , pakistan , and other south asia countries must make a tounament and also afghanistan must attend on that for development of cricket AFG team shown their potential for all now they need to improve them selves . and also the must invite other countries in AFG for some games in their land wish more successes for AFG team i proud for my best team

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 10:53 GMT)

ACC should help Afghanistan by arranging matches against 'A' teams if its not possible to arrange match with the international team. that will make them more competitive. But, having said that they should not allow teams to do what England is doing-- taking away gifted players of the Associate team (Morgan earlier Ed Joyce being the perfect example).

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 9:39 GMT)

Tf Jones, you have some nice ideas there, but i think a 4 year plan is too long. I think we need far more liquidity in the scheduling. If teams can do it they should be able to move through semi formal groupings far faster than that. Also nations should not be locked into playing teams from their own grouping alone. This will allow historic series to remain live and well, a very important part of cricket and one which helps revenues. If Australia is locked out of playing New Zealand for instance, it won't work.

The state of the emerging nations progress is very promising i believe and there needs to be the opportunity for them to play test cricket now. It is becoming ridiculous that teams like Ireland don't get the opportunity to take on Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and West Indies etc. at the very highest level.

Perhaps the intercontinental finalists should now be getting temporary test status in the same way the top six associate teams are granted temporary odi status..

Cheers

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 8:34 GMT)

ohhh, there u go... I am an Indian and feel so ashamed that none of our iNDIAN bros care about our neighbouring countries which need help... Y does Pakistan alwayz have 2 stand up 2 support Bangla or Afghan or srilanka????

Posted by tfjones1978 on (July 13, 2010, 7:55 GMT)

The ICC should set up a multiple grouped approach to test cricket. Based on current rankings I will give: (1) Ind, SA, Aust, Srl. (2) Eng, Pak, NZ, WI. (3) Bang, Zimb, Assoc XI & ICup Winner. (4) ICup [4 days First Class] (5) IShield [4 days First Class] (with 4 year qualifiers).

Each group plays group and next group above or below over 4 years (except Assoc XI doesnt play against ICup), with more tests per series required for same group.

Groups 1 & 2 should play warm up "friendly" test matches only against countries in groups 3-5 that are located in that region

Any group could play additional "friendly" tests against any team in any group, but only tournament tests should affect team rankings

Similar approach should be used for ODI & T20I series to make all series part of qualifiers

ODI World Cup should be 10 teams (Top 6 via series & 4 via assoc qualifiers) and T20I World Cup should be 20 teams (Top 12 via series & 8 via assoc qualifiers), with all teams able to enter to qualify

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