Afghanistan news April 29, 2011

Peshawar to host tournament for Afghanistan cricketers

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rashid Latif, the Afghanistan coach, hopes a tournament arranged in Pakistan's border city of Peshawar will unearth new talent for his side. The tournament will feature six teams named after provinces in Afghanistan, with each team featuring three players from the national side.

Afghanistan have become the fastest-rising Associate team after refugees escaping years of war fled to Pakistan and discovered a love for cricket. "We are playing a tournament of three-day matches in Peshawar followed by a Twenty20 and then a one-day tournament, and I hope these events will help us find more players," Latif told AFP.

Latif, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper, took over as Afghanistan coach last year and helped them win the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup, before guiding them to a shock win over Pakistan in the Asian Games Twenty20 semi-finals.

In recent years Afghanistan has leapt up to Division One in the World Cricket League, which gave them one-day status, and they have since qualified for the World Twenty20 held in the West Indies last year. Latif hopes that the new tournament will help secure the progress the country has made.

"We have also included the Afghanistan Under-19 team so that they can prepare for the qualifying round of the junior World Cup," Latif said.

Afghanistan's Under-19 team won an Asian qualifying event in the UAE earlier this year and stands a good chance of qualifying for the Under-19 World Cup in Australia next year.

Ahmed Taqseem, who is on the Afghanistan Cricket Board's technical committee, felt the facilities available in Pakistan will help the Afghanistan side develop.

"The facilities provided in Peshawar are world-class so playing here will give our players a chance to improve and this is a great help from Pakistan," he said. "We realise that in order to improve at an international level we need to strengthen our domestic setup and we are endeavouring to do that."

Cricketing relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan are strong, with a six-member delegation from the Afghanistan Cricket Board meeting PCB chairman Ijaz Butt on Friday. Butt pledged that Pakistan would provide any support needed to develop Afghanistan cricket and appointed Amir Nawab as a coordinator for Afghanistan.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kamran on April 30, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Good for Afghanistan Cricket Team.

  • Mewand on April 30, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    well good new for both the countries..Afghanistan will be looking for new fresh talent while pakistan can get back to hosting intrnational cricket...

  • Fakiha on April 30, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    We should thanx Afghanistan cricketers that they are willing to play in our country as this shows that they believe our country is safe. Pakistan Zindabad Good luck for both teams because we know that afghans support Pakistan in Worldcup and other matches. In my opinion Pak,Afg and Bang should work together to show the world that we are united. One of us three has to win the WC in 2015 Inshallah

  • Mohammad on April 30, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    As a matter of fact, Afghanistan Cricket is good because of Pakistan Cricket effects as always, therefore this kind of tournaments will further improve their Cricket team and this is very good chance for new talented players... Good luck Afghanistan Cricket Team. continue your success.......................... Tariq Safi

  • darren on April 30, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Kudos to the PCB for allowing the Afghan team to make use of their cricketing facilities which is invaluable. Latif's mentoring role will be all important and will enable the Afghans to continue making inroads in their quite remarkable journey. Also nice to see that despite all the recent adversity they have faced, the Pakistanis are nonetheless reaching out to their Afghan brothers.

  • Daniel on April 30, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Agree with Ahson Afzal, Afghanistan would be one of the few countries willing to play in Pakistan. It's to the mutual benefit of both countries to play a series there.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    great for Afghans, I hope they keep respecting Rashid Latif for he is doing not the way the treated Kabir Khan because he was the one who took afghans to the next level. great stuff

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    This is great, I hope the tournament is a success. I can't help but to point out the sad irony that no cricket team wants to play in Pakistan for security reasons, yet Afghanistan is playing there because Pakistan is a safer place to hold such tournament. I know that the article didn't suggest that security was the reason for holding the tournament in Pakistan, but I believe if security in Afghanistan was better, we would have the facilities and wouldn't need to go to Pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Pakistan is the only one country helping afghan cricket so thank you PCB but I don't understand why BCCI doesn't do nothing

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    that is excellent, PCB should think of arranging trianggular series with pakistanm afghanistan and ireland

    I am sure both afghanistan and ireland are willing to visit pakistan !

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